26 October 2019

Transat Jacques-Vabre starts Sunday, October 27, 2019


HUGO BOSS onboard update: skippers safe and heading to Cape Verde Islands

Nov 4: Alex Thomson and Neal McDonald recount the moment that the HUGO BOSS boat hit an unidentified object submerged in the water and they were forced to free the keel from the boat, during the Transat Jacques Vabre Normandie Le Havre race.
Despite their very best efforts, it became clear that keeping the keel attached would put the boat at great risk. With the keel attached only by the hydraulic ram, and in an unstable position, there was a serious risk of significant damage to the hull. We did everything that we could to preserve the keel but collectively we determined that it was far too dangerous to keep it in place. Therefore, with guidance from our team shore-side, Alex and Neal set about cutting the hydraulic ram to free the keel from the boat. After many hours, they were successful in their efforts and the keel is now no longer attached to the boat. Alex and Neal have filled the ballast tanks onboard and fully extended the foils in order to keep the boat as stable as possible. They are currently in light winds and a slight sea state, and we are comfortable that there is no immediate risk to the boat or the skippers. More news here
Transat Jacques Vabre LIVE: Map & Ranking

Alex Thomson Racing Behind the Scenes:

Alex Thomson Racing: Transat Jacques Vabre Race Start 2019

3 Nov 2019: Alex Thomson Racing's HUGO BOSS withdraws. Alex Thomson and Neal McDonald are working on the safest place to navigate their damaged 60ft monohull, HUGO BOSS, after announcing their withdrawal from the 14th edition the Transat Jacque Vabre. Earlier in the day they informed the race office that they were withdrawing from the race with the keel of their brand new 60ft monohull attached only by the hydraulic ram after hitting something in the water while underway at around 25 knots, 09:57 UTC. HUGO BOSS had completed just over a third of the 4,350-mile course of this biennial double-handed race to Salvador de Bahia, Brazil, and it will be of little comfort to Thomson that his situation would appear to be better than when he was helicoptered to safety after capsizing his previous boat in 2015.

At the front of the race, the leader, Charal, which has now completed half the race distance, was the only one of the leading group of 11 IMOCA to risk the wind shadow of the Canary Islands, threading between Tenerife and Gran Canaria. More news here

Nov 1: The fascinating split in the IMOCA fleet is beginning to play out and the weather files continue to suggest it is going to be a tough weekend for the six westerners as they watch the southerners escape on the trade winds. The leaders in the south look to definitely be the leaders now given the evolution of the depression (metaphorical and literal) in the west. If there is less surprise at the identity of the two leading 60ft monohulls - Charal and Apiviaare both latest generation foilers - the speed of Britain’s Sam Davies and her French co-skipper, Paul Meilhat (Initiatives-Cœur) continues to impress. Likewise, that of the 29-year-old Frenchwoman, Clarisse Crémer and Armel Le Cléac’h (Banque Populaire IX), who is just over five miles ahead in the third place. Initiatives-Cœur. Both boats are two generations and almost ten years older than those ahead of them, but the upgraded foils have given them a new lease of life. 

Transat Jacques-Vabre video below published Oct 31, 2019:

Day 4: HUGO BOSS onboard update

Alex Thomson's  call with the Transat Jacques Vabre team, in which he provides an update on the performance of HUGO BOSS and how he and co-skipper Neal McDonald are managing life onboard.

Oct 31, 2019, Alex Thomson: “Yes, the routing doesn’t look very good now; it looks terrible actually, but with regard to what we’re trying to do, things are going very well really, couldn’t be happier. It’s a bit of a shame that this western option doesn’t look very nice anymore, but c’est la vie.”

Overnight from Wednesday to Thursday the odds lengthened dramatically on the bet in the west.  Not only is the ridge of high pressure around the archipelago of Madeira looking much easier to negotiate for the southerners, but after emerging from a torrid low-pressure system, the westerners look like facing their own ridge. More Transat Jacques Vabre News.

Transat Jacques Vabre video:

Alex Thomson on Hugo Boss.

Oct 30: IMOCA: An upside down leaderboard? The extraordinary split in the IMOCA fleet continued yesterday with a band of five mavericks fully investing heavily in the west and heading into the large low-pressure system which they hope will slingshot them into the trade winds faster than the southerners. If they are right we will almost have to turn the leaderboard upside down as it currently shows Hugo Boss in 22nd place in the 29-boat fleet, 171 miles behind the new leader, PRB. Thomson said today (Wednesday) that heading west was not a strategy but had been forced upon he and co-skipper, Neal McDonald by sail damage – but that it might still pay off. “... at Ushant we had some sail damage. One of our reaching sails, the tack loops of it ripped off the sail for some reason so that was a bit of a pain. And hence we lost a load of miles and basically it stopped us from following the south route hence our push the west, which may still work out." With Thomson in the west are Boris Herrmann (Germany) and Will Harris (Britain) on Malizia II Yacht Club de Monaco; and three French boats, Bureau Vallée II, Maître CoQ IV, and Prysmian Group. The weather files show 35 to 40 knots and a very confused sea state for ten hours awaiting them. More news here.

Oct 29: The bulk of the fleet tacked on Monday night, led by Davies, who were the first to turn onto the more direct road to Salvador de Bahia. They were quickly followed by the bulk of the fleet. Was that a dilemma for the leader, Charal? Follow their route to south or join Hugo Boss looking for a western dividend?

Departure Oct 27, 2019, another view:

UPDATE 2019 Oct 28: overnight leaders Luke Berry and Tanguy Le Turquais suffered a dismast to their 40ft monohull, Lamotte – Module Creation. Both sailors are safe, arriving with their boat at Roscoff, on the north coast of Brittany, 16:00 (French time). The incident came just 18 hours after the start yesterday at 13:15 (French time) from Le Havre in what appeared not to be boat-breaking conditions.
“Around 07:00 (French time), before sunrise, we were downwind in an easterly wind under medium spinnaker with two reefs, we were not overloaded, and we were in manageable conditions,” the 33-year-old Berry said. “We pitched a few times before the last one…I was in the bunk, Tanguy (Le Turquais, co-skipper, 30) was at the helm. We don’t understand it, the conditions weren’t terrible. We recovered everything, we left nothing in the sea, the top of the mast went, then it broke in half. We managed to get everything back in the boat. We’re on our way to Roscoff. We ‘re really disappointed for everyone (involved in the project) especially since we were in the lead at that time.” More news here.
Transat Jacques Vabre: Race Preview

On Sunday, October 27th, Alex Thomson and his co-skipper Neal McDonald will race for the first time onboard the new HUGO BOSS boat. Thomson is interviewed prior to the race start in Le Havre, France.

Transat Jacques-Vabre started Sunday, October 27, 2019, 13:15 local time @LH_LeHavre. Official website: transatjacquesvabre.org. The 14th edition of the 4,350-mile bi-annual two-handed race starts from Le Havre, France, and takes the crews across to the Equator to the finish in Salvador de Bahia, Brazil. The Route du Café traces the historic coffee trading routes, and is the longest and toughest transat on the racing calendar. Having two skippers per boat allows each team to push the boats designed for one, to the limits. The Transat Jacques-Vabre, otherwise known as the "Coffee Route" or double Transat, is a double transatlantic race (two sailors on board). This race has been held every two years since 1993.

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19 October 2019

Rolex Middle Sea Race 2019 Starts October 19 (video)

UPDATE Oct 24, 2019: 54 yachts have completed the course, 17 yachts officially retired, 42 are still out on the course. The wind in the Sicily channel finally started abating today and a transition zone is moving eastwards from the western Mediterranean. Later tonight a north-westerly flow will start to dominate.This afternoon, at 16:30 CEST, the Maltese First 45 Elusive 2 was announced as the overall winner of the 2019 Rolex Middle Sea Race. More here.

Oct 22, 2019: George David’s American maxi Rambler takes Monohull Line Honours! Rambler crossed the finish line of the 40th edition of the Rolex Middle Sea Race at 08:13:00 CEST on Tuesday, October 22nd, completing the 606nm course in a time of 2 days 19 hours 43 minutes. "Rambler 88" has now taken Line Honours in the Rolex Middle Sea Race five years in a row, a feat unsurpassed in the 50-year history of the race.

Rambler  Crew: George David, Brad Butterworth, Andrea Visintini, Rodney Ardern,  Will McCarthy, Dean Phipps, Stuart Wilson, Mark Newbrook, Jan Dekker,  Brian Giorgio, Scott Beavis, Simon Daubney, Peter van Niekerk, Joca  Signorini, Curtis Blewett, Antonio Cuervas Mons, Jerry Kirby, Anthony  Nossiter. More info here.

UPDATE Oct 23: "The fifth day of the 40th edition of the Rolex Middle Sea Race has been a bountiful one on the docks of the Royal Malta Yacht Club, as yachts start to finish in numbers and tales of the race are shared. The strong winds to the west of Sicily have, as predicted, begun to affect the contest for the overall prize. Rambler’s near 24-hour tenure at the top was ended by Black Pearl’s arrival early this morning. The turnovers then came thick and fast and, at press time, the ClubSwan 42 BeWild is sitting atop the pile. With 84 yachts on the course, including three yet to round Favignana at the halfway point of the racetrack, there is plenty of racing left." More info here.

The Rolex Middle Sea Race 2019 Start

Oct 19, 2019, video: Kenneth Abela, ZONA SPORT ONE TV

Oct 21: George David’s American maxi Rambler powers south towards Lampedusa, the only yacht so far to have escaped the clutches of the great Sicilian wind shadow, formed off the northern coast. Rounding Favignana this morning at around 09:30 CEST, the maxi sped to Pantelleria at 15 knots passing the island at 15:10 CEST. Rambler is now marching on to the southernmost corner of the racecourse and is now the overall leader of the race under IRC. Behind Rambler, the competitive juices still flow strong despite the struggle, all competing yachts are through the Strait of Messina and more than half the fleet have rounded Stromboli. LIVE tracker.

Rolex Middle Sea Race 2019 – Preview:

The Rolex Middle Sea Race, one of a number of 600 nautical mile bluewater classics Rolex has supported since the early 2000s, celebrates its 40th edition in 2019. Organised by the Royal Malta Yacht Club, the start is set for Saturday 19 October from Valletta’s Grand Harbour. An international fleet in excess of 100 yachts will grace this popular and demanding offshore race which takes in some of the Mediterranean’s most dramatic scenery including two active volcanoes and scores of rugged islands. The quest for overall race victory and the pursuit for line honours are always compelling facets of a race which continues to draw significant participation from both professional and Corinthian crews. Rolex has supported offshore racing for over half a century and its commitment to this element of the sport, through partnerships with races of the calibre of the Rolex Middle Sea Race, is both long-standing and forward-looking.

Official website: rolexmiddlesearace.com and tracker.

Rolex is Title Sponsor of 15 major international events – from leading offshore races, such as the annual Rolex Sydney Hobart Yacht Race and the biennial Rolex Fastnet Race, to grand prix competition at the Rolex TP52 World Championship and spectacular gatherings at the Maxi Yacht Rolex Cup and the Rolex Swan Cup. It also supports the exciting new SailGP series, where national teams race in supercharged F50 catamarans on some of the world’s most famous harbours. Rolex’s partnerships with the likes of the Cruising Yacht Club of Australia, Yacht Club Costa Smeralda, Royal Ocean Racing Club, New York Yacht Club and Royal Yacht Squadron are the foundation of its enduring relationship with this dynamic sport.

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18 October 2019

Sailing & Sustainability - 52 Super Series & SailGP Videos

Leading by Example – 52 SUPER SERIES 2019

52SuperSeries video Oct 14, 2019.

Sailing Tech Meets Sustainability // Journey to Zero Carbon Emissions // SailGP

Oct 11, 2019: As part of a journey to net zero carbon by 2025 and delivering on the UN Sport for Climate Action, SailGP is testing new low carbon technologies both on and off the water. The SEAir foiling RIB is one example of this, using up to 30% less fuel than a traditional powerboat.

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17 October 2019

The Clipper Race Fleet Arrive in Punta del Este, Uruguay (video)

The Clipper Race Fleet arrive in Punta del Este, Uruguay

Clipper Round the World Yacht Race Oct 15, 2019, video.

See also:

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16 October 2019

Fast & Furious Racing: Rolex TP52 World Championship (video)

Rolex TP52 World Championship – fast and furious racing

Oct 15, 2019: Eleven teams representing eight nations, five days of intense competition. Yacht racing at its very best. The Rolex TP52 World Championship is the pinnacle event of this thrilling class of powerful yet versatile monohulls. Teamwork and technical precision – in the design, preparation and performance of boats and crews – are everything. At the 2019 edition held in August off Puerto Portals, Spain, Platoon snatched victory on the final day. Rolex is a committed partner of this spectacular regatta and the Official Timepiece as part of an alliance with yachting dating back more than 60 years. 

Official website: 52superseries.com

See also: Porto Cervo 52 SUPER SERIES Sailing Week, Sep 24-28 (video)

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15 October 2019

2019 M32 World Championships - Convexity (video)

2019 M32 World Championships - Convexity

Oct 14, 2019, video by M32 World: M32 Convexity, winner of the World Championship in Riva del Garda 2019.

See also: m32world.com

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14 October 2019

11th Hour Racing Team IMOCA 60 Races in Défi Azimut (video)

11th Hour Racing Team's Charlie and Pascal race the Defi Azimut!

The Ocean Race video Oct 11, 2019: Go behind-the-scenes as Charlie Enright and Pascal Bidégorry competed together in the Défi Azimut in Lorient, France, earning an impressive podium finish in the double-handed 48-hour race in the event with a full crew – onboard the 11th Hour Racing Team IMOCA 60.

See also: theoceanrace.com and defi-azimut.net

The next edition of The Ocean Race will start from Alicante, Spain in the autumn of 2021.

Two classes will compete in the 2021-22 edition of the race with the addition of the high-tech, foiling IMOCA 60 class adding a design and technical element. The one-design VO65 fleet will race with an emphasis on competition, youth and crew diversity.

Sustainability will continue to be a core value of the race going forward, with efforts to restore ocean health and lead, inspire and engage on this critical issue.

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13 October 2019

Clipper Round the World Yacht Race Video: Yacht Tour

Clipper Race - Yacht Tour

Clipper Round the World Yacht Race Oct 2, 2019: Skipper Ian Wiggin gives a tour of one of the eleven ocean racing yachts part of the matched fleet of Clipper 70s which compete in the Clipper Round the World Yacht Race.

See also: Clipper Round the World Yacht Race 2019-20, LIVE Feed

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12 October 2019

Alex Thomson Racing - New HUGO BOSS (video)


Alex Thomson Racing video above Oct 9, 2019: The new HUGO BOSS. We are only just beginning....


Watch the new HUGO BOSS boat sail for the very first time, as Alex Thomson and his team officially begin their journey to the Vendée Globe 2020. The countdown is on.

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11 October 2019

America's Cup: Britannia 18 Months In The Making (video)

America's Cup: Britannia 18 Months In The Making

INEOS TEAM UK video - In the America’s Cup everyday counts, Britannia 18 months in the making.

‘Britannia’ christened at HQ in Portsmouth:

The 2021 America's Cup will begin on Saturday, March 6 and ends on Sunday, March 21.

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10 October 2019

Mixed Two Person Offshore, New Sailing Event at Paris 2024 (video)

Mixed Two Person Offshore, New Sailing Event at Paris 2024

For the first time in sailing's Olympic history, a Mixed Two Person Offshore Keelboat event will be on the programme at the Paris 2024 Olympic Sailing Competition. The Mixed Two Person Offshore Keelboat will join kiteboarding, windsurfing, multihulls, singlehanded and doublehanded dinghies and skiffs, promoting the diversity of the sport. This in turn will support World Sailing's desire to promote and grow universality in all disciplines and increase female participation with gender equal medals and athletes.

See also Tokyo 2020 Olympic Sailing Competition

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03 October 2019

44Cup Cascais Oct 3 - 6, Cascais, Lisbon District, Portugal

Team Aqua won the 44Cup Cascais with a race to spare:

Day 4 44CUP Cascais - Oct 6, 2019: Whether it was in big waves or small, gale force or sub-10 winds, Chris Bake’s Team Aqua shone all week and as a result, won the 44Cup Cascais with a race to spare. Although this was common occurrence for Team Aqua during her glory years of 2011-13, winning with a race to spare is very rare these days, such is the level of competition in the high performance one design monohull class.  The final day of 44Cup racing off the Portuguese sailing mecca, where the event was hosted by the Clube Naval de Cascais, provided even brisker conditions than the day before, mainly due to the race committee setting up the start area further offshore, free from the protection of the headlands west of Cascais. As a result, with the wind regularly blowing 20+ knots, and a lumpy and at times random chop set up on top of the Atlantic swell, it was a perpetually wet ride for the crews on this high load, high stress deciding day.

Team Aqua wins the 44Cup Cascais 2019

44Cup Cascais best shots video above, Oct 6, 2019.

Day 3 44Cup Cascais 2019 - Russian bears wake up

While at the 44Cup Cascais there has been a light first day, a medium second day with a large swell, on day three the Portugese sailing mecca saw winds exceeding the forecast, gusting up to 25 knots, with a short wind-driven chop and a reduced swell. 

The wind hovering around 18-20 knots for most of the day provided hair-raising downwinds with the crew hanging on as the RC44s accelerated to 20+ knots speed, engulfed in spray. The conditions placed a premium on crew work and it was easy even for the most polished teams to come unstuck - notably three time World Champion Team Nika which broached dramatically during today’s first kite hoist.

Day 2 44Cup Cascais 2019 - Team Aqua shows ‘golden wheels’ form

Oct 4, 2019: Half way stage the 44Cup Cascais, Chris Bake’s Team Aqua has joined Nico Poons’ Charisma at the top of the leaderboard and is even ahead on countback. The second day of racing for the high performance one design RC44 monohulls, hosted by the Clube Naval de Cascais, was held in slightly more wind than yesterday, 10-16 knots, building slowly in the final race, but remaining more firmly northwest. However the height of the swell was notably larger, drummed up by Hurricane Lorenzo. Thanks to the long wavelength this wasn’t especially dramatic, but it made holding a course tricky as boats experiencing a momentary lull and they disappeared in the troughs.

Day 1 Highlights, 44Cup Cascais 2019 - Charisma and Team Aqua stride ahead

In contrast to their tail end of the fleet finish in Marstrand in July, Nico Poons and Charisma showed the way around the race track on the opening day of the 44Cup Cascais, posting a most respectable 2-1-2. While today Charisma, the 2018 44Cup champion (and winner the last time the high performance 44ft long one design long monohulls visited these waters last November), seemed to be the stand-out team, in fact they finished the day just one point ahead of Team Aqua. Chris Bake’s team, which currently holds the 44Cup’s ‘golden wheels’ as overall 44Cup leader, claimed today’s final race and had nearly as consistently good a day as Charisma, posting a 3-2-1.

See also Who will win the 44Cup Cascais? (video): 9 teams from 6 nations, who will win?

44Cup Cascais Oct 3 - 6, Clube Naval de Cascais, Cascais, Lisbon District, Portugal: the penultimate event of the 2019 RC44 season, the 44Cup Cascais, 3rd - 6th October, as the year draws to a close for the nine strong fleet of high performance one design keelboats, with only four points separating the top six teams.
Venue: located on the mouth of the River Tagus leading up to Lisbon, Cascais is open to the Atlantic and comes with all the potential for big winds and large oceanic swell. It is for this reason, combined with excellent hospitality provided by the Clube Naval de Cascais, that the Portuguese stopover is another regular on the 44Cup circuit, having featured every year since 2012. It hosted the World Championship in 2015 and 2017, both of which were won by Team Nika.
44Cup Results and Standings

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