miércoles, 31 de marzo de 2010


TEAMORIGIN is in business to win the America’s Cup, that is why the Team was set up and that is the ultimate mission. The way the Team goes about achieving that business goal is through Race for Change, that underlying belief affects day to day business decisions and beliefs and behaviour of all team members.

TEAMORIGIN is committed to improving environmental performance across all its activities and using this experience to deliver a positive impact on the sport and industry.

Race for Changeis the mechanism with which we will achieve this. The key points of Race for Change are:

  • TEAMORIGIN will measure its impact on the environment and set targets for ongoing improvement, continually reducing its carbon emissions
  • TEAMORIGIN will comply with all relevant environmental legislation
  • TEAMORIGIN will ensure that all members of the team are aware of the environmental issues and support Race for Change
  • TEAMORIGIN will work to inspire action on climate change within the sport, marine industry and wider and encourage the adoption of similar principles by its, suppliers, partners and supporters

More specifically TEAMORIGIN will:

  • Monitor, manage and reduce its energy usage
  • Actively manage travel and transportation to reduce carbon emissions as far as practicable
  • Minimise waste through efficient use of materials and energy, reducing, reusing and recycling where possible
  • Use sustainable products and services where feasible that minimise the environmental impact of both production and distribution e.g recycled, FSC, renewable energy
  • Reduce risks from environmental hazards for team members, others and the environment in the vicinity of our operations
  • Train team members in good environmental practice and encourage employee involvement in environmental action
  • Work with suppliers to promote positive environmental actions
  • Continually improve our environmental performance by setting objectives, actions and targets
  • Communicate our policy within the team and to the public
  • Work towards achieving the Carbon Trust Standard

Everyone is responsible for Race for Change and for improving TEAMORIGIN’s environmental performance.

Sir Keith Mills, Team Principal : 15 March 2010

ED Nice to see initiatives like this nowadays!

When will we know...???

NOW THAT San Francisco's Golden Gate Yacht Club is the home of the America's Cup, local sailing fans are hopeful that the 34th edition of the event will be raced right here on the bay. But key details have yet to be ironed out, as defender, the BMW Oracle team, is still in the process of consulting the America's Cup community as to what works best for most teams regarding date, venue and boat for the next event.

Team spokesperson Jane Eagleson said there is likely to be no announcement before the end of the year.

It's not a given that the next event will be held here for a plethora of reasons, some of which include the cost to the City, the ability to obtain permits required to build the infrastructure for such a large scale event, the cost of living in the Bay Area for teams who would have to move crew and families here, and whether the City could pull off in a timely manner just what it takes to build a world-class venue for the event.

Tiburon's Genny Tulloch, second-ranked member of the 2010 U.S. sailing team, is one local sailor excited at the prospect of the next Cup coming to town. She was in Valencia in February working in media for the 33rd America's Cup event, her first Cup experience.

"I would love to see the Cup in San Francisco," Tulloch said. "I think (having it) here, more than anywhere, would be a great place to host it by virtue of the number of outdoorsy individuals who live here. Even non-sailors would be interested in a city this size because it would be so accessible. I was in awe as to how cool it was in Valencia, and how the average person on the street was so excited about it. I really hope we get to see that here. It could be really good for our sport."

The boat selection decision - mono hull versus multi hull - will be an important factor as to whether or not San Francisco sees Cup racing here sometime in the next four years. Two teams charging around a massive racecourse on 100-foot multi hull machines in the Mediterranean was a circumstance that is probably not feasible on San Francisco Bay, unless racing takes place out under the Golden Gate Bridge.

"Initially in Valencia, the rumor was that if they won, Oracle would go back to mono hulls and take the event back to the America's Cup that it was," Tulloch said. "The 2007 Cup, saw really close match racing, which is what the challengers want, and given that the other challengers have not raced a multi hull event, it would probably make them happier racing in mono hulls."

Finding mutual consent between the teams over the elements of venue, date and boat is a goal that has been clearly stated by the defender for the next event, so it may be that the racing will be in mono hulls. At the same time, Tulloch learned from the Oracle camp about how much fun it was racing their catamaran, and how well multi hulls can be match raced.

"We saw a cool pre-start maneuver in the first race, and throughout watched what I considered to be typical mono hull match racing moves," Tulloch said. "I also think with the speed difference in multi hulls you could get more interesting racing. But politically, I am not sure if they'll be able to pull it off."

Tulloch, currently campaigning for the 2012 Olympics in the in the Elliott 6-meter division, took away valuable lessons from her recent Cup experience, not only about match racing at the top, but also about the importance of dedication and the need for the right structure around a team.

"It was absorbing to be around it and see people who I've worked with in a different context really work at their highest potential," Tulloch said. "The organization and drive of the BMW Oracle Racing team was impressive, especially knowing that they had such a limited time to prepare. They clearly loved the event and sailing on their catamaran. I think it's really important to keep in mind the joy of the sport while still working as hard as possible towards the ultimate goal. I've thought a lot since about how to make my team go the way that I want it to go, with that same dedication and structure. I didn't know that I would see that at the Cup."

As sailors eagerly wait for a venue announcement, America's Cup veteran Dawn Riley is unsure whether we'll see the next Cup her.

"I've said all along that the biggest hurdle to the Cup coming to San Francisco is the on-shore facilities and permissions, et cetera," Riley said. "If those weren't such issues then there'd be a much better chance. It had been rumored that the venue would be announced by the end of March, which said to me that they already are 99 percent sure of where they'll hold it, and that wouldn't be San Francisco - unless Larry (Ellison) has bought Treasure Island."

ED Rumours are varied and rife at the moment on the future of the 34th Americas Cup. You can read what you want into relationships between possible teams, but the fact is we don't know what is going to happen and that may be the case for some time still. Valencia sailing has said we will find out tomorrow, but that might be very optimistic with the next Cup scheduled for 2013 at the earliest!

From Russia with love?

Source BMW Oracle Racing Blog Team CEO Russell Coutts and skipper James Spithill were in Moscow last night as guests of BMW Russia.

From the story on the team website: The best yachtsmen of the Russian Federation attended the event, as well as representatives of the business-elite, famous actors, producers, designers and chief editors of leading Russian titles. The famous Russian sports television personality Kirill Kiknadse presented the gala night.

"We congratulate the entire BMW ORACLE Racing team," said Ian Robertson, BMW AG member of the board for sales and marketing. "Finally we have managed to achieve the result we have been working on for over two and a half years. BMW Company is a qualified developer of yachting solutions, and the America’s Cup winner applied many of our unique technologies. For instance, BMW engineers managed to develop new constructions notable for their light weight. BMW can justifiably be called the premium brand in yachting."

(Images courtesy BMW Russia)

ED Not sure if there it is pure coincidence to the fact that we have a possible Russian challenger (SYNERGY) and another TP52 Team (Valars). Surely it can't be long until we get to see more Russian involvement with Russell and Jimmy having holidays like this.

Auckland stopover

[Source: Volvo Ocean Race] The final piece of the puzzle was revealed today when Auckland was announced as a stopover port for the 2011-12 Volvo Ocean Race. It will be the seventh time the City of Sails has featured in the event.

Auckland last hosted the event in 2001-02. This time it will stage the leg four finish from Sanya in China and the start of leg five, which will take the fleet into the Southern Ocean once again, round Cape Horn and onto Itajaí, Brazil.

With the confirmation of Auckland, the route for 2011-12 is now set and includes: start port of Alicante (Spain), Cape Town (South Africa), Abu Dhabi (UAE), Sanya (China), Auckland (New Zealand), Itajaí (Brazil), Miami (US), Lisbon (Portugal), Lorient (France) and the finish port of Galway (Ireland).

"Our host port programme around the world is now complete and I can confirm that Auckland has won its bid to become our stopover port in New Zealand," said Volvo Ocean Race CEO Knut Frostad.

"This announcement completes the route and our goal of contracting all the ports before the end of March 2010, significantly earlier than in previous race cycles. The preliminary course will be published during April.

"The people of Auckland have an immense appreciation of sailing, and the Volvo Ocean Race in particular. Many of the world's best-known sailors are from New Zealand, and we are proud to bring the race back to the City of Sails, where we will be sure of a huge reception."

Auckland's selection as the port of choice and return to the race route was welcomed by Mayor John Banks. "This event is a great fit with Auckland's maritime location and of significant economic benefit for our city," he said.

"Auckland has a proud history associated with this event and we look forward to welcoming the fleet and many spectators to our city once again."

New Zealand has fielded many of the world's greatest sailors, including Sir Peter Blake who competed five times in The Whitbread Round the World Race, which became the Volvo Ocean Race in 2001. Blake's victory in 1989-90 on Steinlager 2 included a clean sweep of all six legs.

Grant Dalton, CEO of Emirates Team New Zealand, has also been a prolific competitor in the event, competing six times, being part of the winning crew onboard Flyer in 1981-82, and winning the maxi class with New Zealand Endeavour in 1993-94 whilst fellow New Zealander Ross Field won the Whitbread 60 division with Yamaha the same year.

More recently, Mike Sanderson drove ABN AMRO ONE to a resounding victory in 2005-06, with Brad Jackson and Stu Bannatyne as his watch captains. They carried on their winning streak as watch captains onboard 2008-09 winner Ericsson 4 and were jointly named Sailor of the Year at the 2009 Yachting New Zealand Excellence Awards. Along with Mark Christensen, Jackson and Bannatyne are the only sailors to have won the race three times.

lunes, 29 de marzo de 2010

Good decisions not hasty decisions ?

San Francisco (March 26, 2010) – An agreement has been reached with the previous America’s Cup Trustee, Société Nautique de Genève, that all outstanding litigation in the New York courts concerning the recent 33rd match will be dropped by both sides.

This includes GGYC’s Breach of Fiduciary Duty (“BFD”) claim against SNG, as well as all other claims over the design and construction of yachts Alinghi 5 and USA. GGYC’s yacht USA won the 33rd Match on February 14 off Valencia, Spain.

“In place of controversy, we seek consensus. Instead of continuing argument, we are pleased to have reached agreement,” said GGYC Commodore Marcus Young. GGYC’s representatives have started a consultative process with regard to the venue, timing, format and type of boat for the 34th America’s Cup. GGYC and the Challenger of Record, Club Nautico di Roma and its sailing team Mascalzone Latino headed by Vincenzo Onorato, are cooperating closely in this.

“Good decisions not hasty decisions – this is what the Cup community wants,” added Russell Coutts, CEO of GGYC’s sailing team BMW ORACLE Racing. “Our focus is on looking ahead and making the 34th edition of the oldest trophy in international sports the best America’s Cup yet.”

Discussions will continue over the next six months with the details of the 34th Cup confirmed during 2010. “We will do our best to fulfill Larry Ellison’s vision of a competition which respects the Cup’s unique tradition whilst moving forward with the latest technology to attract an even wider audience,” commented Coutts.

ED This at least ensures that we won't see the last of Alinghi in the America's Cup! Whether Larry Ellison's vision is within the best interests of the sport - we will find out soon. Is there much difference between the Defender sailing in the Acts to the current scenario of an RC44 circuit and the Louis Vuitton Series sailed in yachts designed by the Defender? Not a criticism - just food for thought!

Bruni and Azzurra crew win Congressional Cup

[Source: Congressional Cup] Francesco Bruni and his team Azzurra crew squeezed the last bit of breath out of the 46th Congressional Cup Saturday to outsail Gavin Brady, 2-1, and deny the four-time winner an unprecedented fifth Crimson Blazer in the only Grade 1 Open match racing regatta in the United States.

Instead, it was the affable Italian who donned the traditional prize after reveling in a champagne shower and a proper dunking at the dock that blew off the tension of a hard-earned victory.

"We were very scared, especially after the score was one to one," Bruni said, fearing that Mother Nature would rule the day beyond all of his sailing skill.

Unusually capricious conditions for the venue bedeviled the four semifinalists with a simmering offshore Santa Ana desert breeze arriving at 18 knots from the east. Later, after one round of racing parallel to the sand-blown beach, the wind switched to 150 degrees onshore from the southwest but dropped to 7 knots.

Azzurra, an Italian team with America's Cup ambitions, hung tough, although pushed to the limit of three races by defending champion Johnie Berntsson in the semis and by Brady in the final.

miércoles, 24 de marzo de 2010

Ellison's goal to market the America's Cup to the U.S.

(Fortune) -- On Feb. 20, days after winning the 33rd sailing of the America's Cup regatta in Valencia, Spain, BMW Oracle Racing owner Larry Ellison made a formal presentation of the silver Cup at San Francisco's City Hall. Joined onstage by San Francisco Mayor Gavin Newsom, team CEO (and four-time America's Cup winner) Russell Coutts, and skipper Jimmy Spithill, Ellison spoke of his plans for the Cup tournament now that it will be back in the U.S. for the first time in 15 years. He elaborated in far greater detail with Fortune's Adam Lashinsky in an exclusive interview following the public event. An edited transcript follows:

Why was Russell Coutts, perhaps the world's most accomplished professional sailor, a manager rather than a skipper in your victorious pursuit of the America's Cup?

(Coutts) is an extraordinary engineering manager. This is a big operation. It's 150 people. Fifty design engineers. Russell himself is a design engineer. Putting a team of this quality together, the credit goes to Russell.

The first guy I hired was Jimmy (Spithill). Jimmy was offered the job of driving for Alinghi [the Swiss-owned defender of the 2010 America's Cup]. Russell convinced him that he should come with our team even though he knew that the only team that he might not get a chance to drive for was Russell Coutts's team. But Jimmy decided he'd rather be No. 2 behind Russell Coutts than No. 1 at any other team.

As it turned out, Jimmy put in all the hard work and Russell gave him the driving gloves and let him drive the boat, and he did a great job.

This is just like business, isn't it?

What I didn't realize when I went from amateur sailing -- I drove my boat Sayonara to five consecutive world championships; I thought, oh, I must be good at this sailing thing -- and then I turned pro, and I drove in the Louis Vuitton Cup and I'd been sailing in pro match racing for a while -- that there's just a gigantic difference between professional sports and amateur sports.

I found that professional sports resembles Oracle (ORCL, Fortune 500) much more than my experience with Sayonara. In America's Cup sailing we have a large engineering team, recruiting is crucial, planning is crucial, leadership is crucial, the level of effort and the level of commitment that's required to be successful, the focus, it really is a full-time job.

Have you signed contracts with Coutts and Spithill for your defense of the America's Cup?

Well, we haven't signed anybody. But I'm confident. We all get along. I think we all have the same vision for the 34th America's Cup and indeed for the America's Cup in general that I'd be stunned if this team broke up. Not only will we keep Jimmy and keep Russell, our team will be even stronger going into the 34th.

Can you actually make money with an America's Cup team?

That's one of the things that's crucial for the 34th is that we make this a profitable venture for all the teams, not just for the defender or the challenger of record.

We'd make it a more attractive TV sport so we can sell TV contracts. We'll get the budgets under control so someone can come in and campaign for three, four, five million dollars. So the South Africans will come back. The Swedes will come back, not that they can't raise more money, but we'd want someone with a smaller budget to be able to build their boat, put together their team and be competitive. We'd like this to not be a matter of who invests the most money in designing their boat but who sails the best.

But you're the guy with the resources and who has shown the willingness to spend them. So you're willing to make it so that people who spend only $5 million can compete with you?

You bet. If you look at the kind of sailing I've been doing lately, I'm sailing RC 44s. Last year I was on the international circuit, sailing RC 44s. What is that circuit? Every boat is exactly the same. Everyone's got the same boat. Everyone's got the same sails. I love that circuit, and it's all professional.

The guy who won it last year was Jimmy Spithill, driving for one team, and I was second, with Russell as tactician. I was driving Russell's boat. I love that kind of sailing. And I think we'll do very well in an America's Cup where sailing skill is at a premium.

Now, I don't want to turn America's Cup into one-design sailing, which is too much of a break with tradition. There should be some engineering aspects. But the engineering aspects should not be dominant or, as my legal friends say, should not be dispositive: I've got the fastest boat, therefore I win.

I want it to be a combination, where you've got a little bit of an edge with a slightly faster boat. But in the end it's got to come down to how good is your sailing team and how do you sail and how well do you call the wind and how good are your tactics and how well do you trim and how well did you drive.

Won't the size of your team alone make it impossible to keep to $5 million?

No. You wouldn't need 50 design engineers, obviously, if you had smaller boats, and if the design rule wasn't so flexible, if you limited how much of an engineering advantage you'd get. If the boats are smaller they're much cheaper to build. The sails aren't so expensive. The sails on these big boats cost half a million dollars. One sail.

So you're committed to rules that will lower the bar?

Oh yeah. It shouldn't be about money. It should be a little bit about technology and a lot about sailing. And it's got to be a great experience for viewers. It's got to be something kids want to watch. Quite frankly when I'm watching the Olympics I watch downhill racing. My kids watch the snowboarders. Okay. We've got to pay attention to that.

I kind of like monohulls. All my racing experience is on monohulls. But if what the kids want to watch is multihulls because it's more exciting, we'll go multihulls. We've got to make this a great sport from the point of view of the participant, especially the kid who's just getting into the sport, and from the point of view of the viewer on television.

Have you approached the networks yet?

I know Rupert Murdoch, but I'm not going to approach him about Fox. Though they would be great. I know Bog Iger and I'm not going to approach him about ESPN. But that's what we want. We want network coverage. We want ESPN coverage. We think we can make this extremely attractive and comprehensible. We want some 15-year-old watching this thing, saying, "Wow, that's cool. I'd love to do that."

What other marketing ideas do you have?

It's got to be a commercially viable sport. Baseball is. Football is. Tennis is. We've got to attract a fan base. We have to make it interesting. We have to have interesting commentators. When the NFL put in that yellow first down line on the field, it gave the fan a little more insight as to what was going on during the play. We can provide that computer assistance, which is especially needed in sailing.

Have you met people who can do this?

Oh yeah. The guy who did the yellow line is named Stan Honey. I've sailed with him. He lives in the North Bay. He was my navigator in my first-ever trans-Pacific yacht race in the Sayonara.

So we know the people who really understand the computer technology that does that. We think it's a huge opportunity for our sport.

Are you comfortable predicting the next America's Cup winner will not be due to a technological edge?

No. You never know. It's okay to be about clever, so long as it's not about money. In the Australian challenge when John Bertrand came over here [in 1983] and sailed the winged keel, that was not an expensive deal. It was just a clever piece of engineering. So I have no problem with clever, occasionally moving the America's Cup from one place to another. That is the America's Cup.

What I have a problem with are budgets that are so high that most teams can't participate, because we want to have a broad base of teams come in here and compete for the America's Cup and have a reasonable chance of winning.

I also have a problem with technology always being the determining factor as opposed to sailing skill. So maybe once every 10 America's Cups someone comes up with something really innovative and wins because of technology. The other nine it's about who sails better.

So just by the law of probability you're decreasing your chances of winning.

You bet. That's okay. All we care about is if we duly lose that we get a fair chance to win it back next time. That's all we want. We don't want to ever have to go to court again to get a fair set of rules.

Where's the American audience today compared with where it's going to be for the next America's Cup?

We've talked with Louis Vuitton [sponsor of the Louis Vuitton Cup, which in the past has determined the right to challenge for the America's Cup] about sponsoring with the older boats, the Class V boats, a circuit, where we do a race in Hong Kong, New Zealand, Italy, France, in Newport, San Francisco, six or seven races, and getting the existing teams back, with America's Cup-class boats.

It would be like the Premier soccer league in the U.K. with the occasional World Cup. Every fourth year there's the America's Cup. But you have all these teams playing soccer against each other in the intervening years until all of a sudden everything stops for three months and you have this America's Cup.

What about the U.S. audience?

No sport can be successful without good TV coverage. The TV coverage of the America's Cup has been dismal in the United States. We can fix that easily. With a little bit of technology and care and attention I think we can make this incredibly exciting to kids. The sailors watch. But we've got to go beyond that. We've got to get the next generation interested.

lunes, 22 de marzo de 2010

The Race is back!!

Great advert in the light of G3's recent triumph!

Around the world in 50!!

Trophée Jules Verne beaten by the 10 guys aboard Groupama 3 who clocked up an average speed of 18,76 knots around the globe. The record now stands at 48 days, 7 hours after her departure on the 31st of January. This beats the old record by almost 2 and a half days!

You need to look back through time a bit to remember the first attempts of Peter Blake and Olivier de Kersuason - around 80 days!

viernes, 19 de marzo de 2010

Louis Vuitton Trophy Auckland - Day 10 - Highlights

They might go 3 times slower than the yachts we saw in the 33rd Americas Cup DOG Match, but the pre start action is impressive! Even for the non sailing public, the tension and excitement is clear to see.

Those crazy froggies

They may do things a little differently, but they do love their sailing and produce some funky looking craft. Can't wait to some footage of this beast sailing in 30 knots+!

Dog or ....?

Photo thanks to Ian Roman/TeamOrigin.
Time will tell if this new creation of Juan K is fast. Crewed by the Origin guys, she will be well sailed. Juan K has not been part of the TP52 class recently, but the same was said before he produced the ABN AMRO boats - we all know what happened there.

Groupama 3 close to finish

The speeds these guys are doing is just mental. If they make it (I don't want to jinx them) - it will be a major achievement to beat the current Jules Verne record of Orange.

jueves, 18 de marzo de 2010

What is this?

Volvo Open 70 – Version 2.0

With their high freeboards, voluminous angular hull sections and towering rigs, Volvo Open 70s remain imposing, aggressive and intimidating on the dock, just like their earlier sisterships.

At first it is difficult to see just what has changed from the first iteration of the VOR class rule. Yet dig a little deeper and it becomes clear that the boats that make up the new fleet are highly-refined and substantially more powerful.

Here, two main areas have driven the development in this class, changes in the rule itself and the greed for more speed.

VO70 – The New Rule

When it came to performance, the first breed of new VO70s for the 2005-06 race proved that they had raised the bar for offshore racing. By the finish, no one was complaining about their performance, at least not when it came to outright straight line speed.

So, in reviewing the rules that govern the design and construction of these boats, the focus was on refinement rather than radical changes. Understanding the loads that these powerful machines generated downwind was one of the areas that focussed attention.

In an effort to encourage designers to put more structure into the boat to improve reliability and durability the range of acceptable displacements was reduced to 13.86-14.00 tonnes, while a maximum keel bulb weight of 7.4 tonnes was also set.

The rules governing the appendages was another area to be tweaked with two dagger boards and one or two rudders the only options permitted, while the troublesome bomb doors and moveable fairing systems around the keel/hull interface were outlawed.

Above deck, all spinnakers are now allowed to be furled, and spinnaker poles are banned, moves that will help make the sail plans more manageable for the crew as well as reducing development costs. Another change in the rig package is that an additional masthead spinnaker, the so called code zero, is now permitted to improve light airs performance.

Another big change above decks is that non-metallic standing rigging is now allowed throughout. This move reduces the overall weight of the rig dramatically. The lighter rig weight will improve performance significantly by reducing the weight aloft and reducing the pitching moment, which in turn will reduce slamming.

VO70 – The New Boats

When it comes to developing power, beam is one of the fundamental keys. More beam means more righting moment, albeit with the penalty of greater drag.

With the fin and bulb configuration now fixed at 7.4 tonnes and a maximum draft of 4.5m, there is less flexibility in the range of righting moments that can be generated from the fin and keel system alone making the waterline beam of the boat more significant. Hence, the righting moment versus the beam and wetted surface area lies at the heart of these boats’ design.

As always, hull shape is another important issue.

“Flat runs aft help promote planing but also tend to keep the bow down, making it more difficult to steer at speed,” said Russell Bowler, of Farr Yacht Design, who designed both Telefonica boats.

Getting the balance of performance both upwind and down is another important issue as Shaun Carkeek of Botin Carkeek, designers for the PUMA boat, il mostro, explained.

“The percentage of time spent reaching will be around the same as before, but some of the time spent running will now be traded for upwind work,” Carkeek said.

“Last time around we saw glimpses of what’s achievable through different hull shapes. We also saw how important the balance between righting moment and light weather performance is. But we believe that while these aspects are very important, understanding the aerodynamics of these boats will be crucial.”

Here, the development in the rigs is perhaps the easiest to identify at the dockside. With boat speeds that are rarely out of double figures and apparent wind angles that are rarely aft of the beam, windage and the drag that results has become more important.

Consequently rigs are much cleaner than previously with lower drag rigging attachments and sheave cages along with a more considered layout of halyard exits to reduce drag in the all important slot.

Rigs can now be built using high modulus carbon fibre which means stiffer rigs that can be smaller in section at the top to reduce windage further, although there has been a balancing act to perform here with the higher topmast loads associated with the masthead upwind genoas.

Opting for the non-metallic rigging route has been a no-brainer for the teams this time around, the substantial weight savings that have been gained here have not only contributed to a better all round motion for the boats, but have allowed designers to specify a heavier, more robust spar that can carry the additional loads.

When it comes to sail plans and wardrobes, teams have had to completely re-think their armoury. No longer the Southern Ocean sleigh ride once the corner at Cape Town is turned, the fleet now has to step into completely new territory with the potential for long upwind legs, especially the 2,500 miles from Singapore to China.

Masthead code zeros will transform the boats’ performances upwind in the light which will most likely see teams carrying these giant masthead sails in up to 8.5 to 9 knots of true wind speed which will see the boats travelling faster than the wind speed at 40 degrees true.

Boat speeds of 11 knots in just 9 knots of true wind will not be uncommon and teams may well decide to opt to take four upwind sails on a leg and drop one of the spinnakers given the new emphasis on upwind work.

The new boats will be allowed to measure in 24 sails for the complete trip around the world. The total number of sails may seem high, but when the requirements of each leg are taken into account, managing the sail programme will be one of the biggest keys to success.

While specific wardrobes may vary from boat to boat, a typical sail package for a typical leg might include; one mainsail, three upwind jibs, three reachers which are actually smaller than the jibs, a masthead code zero and five spinnakers.

Making best use of the sail wardrobe and staying in control for longer is another key area and a lesson than the twin-ruddered ABN AMRO boats taught the rest of the fleet in the 2005-06 race.

Clearly designing more power into the new generation is one thing and an area that designers and teams have spent a great deal of time developing, yet harnessing it for a new course with new boats, will be quite another. The second generation may look similar to last time, but their boosted performance looks set to put them in another league.

VOLVO 2011-2012: Sanya confirmed as stopover

Thursday 18 March 2010, 07:00 GMT

Another piece of the 2011-12 race route fell into place today when Sanya, the resort city located on the southern coast of Hainan Province, China, was named as a stopover port.

Sanya becomes the second Chinese port in the history of the Volvo Ocean Race following Qingdao's inclusion in the route for 2008-09. Sanya will host the finish of leg three, which starts from Abu Dhabi, for the latest edition.

In announcing Sanya's selection as the sole Asian destinaton, Knut Frostad, the Volvo Ocean Race CEO, said: "The race was held very successfully in Qingdao and has inspired a passion among many Chinese people.

"It is with great pleasure that we are able to confirm that China will once again be part of the route for 2011-12 and it will be an honour to take the event to Sanya."

Sanya, the only tropical island province in China, features golden, sandy beaches and enjoys a temperate year-round climate. The Sanya Municipal Government will use the Volvo Ocean Race as part of its plans to develop the city into a leading international tourism destination.

It already has an excellent transport system, which will be integral to the building of a new marina.

Commenting on the selection of Sanya, Mr Liu Gang, Deputy Director of the China Water Sports Administration Centre said: "The wonderful memories from the last edition of the race when it visited Qingdao remain fresh in our minds and I would like to congratulate Sanya for being chosen as the new stopover."

The Vice Mayor of Sanya, Li Baiqing, added: "The city will relish the chance to show its charm to the Volvo Ocean Race visitors from around the world."

Added Chinese interest in the 2008-09 race was provided by the presence among the fleet of Chinese sailor Guo Chuan.

Chuan, an accomplished ocean racer, served as Media Crew Member onboard the Chinese-Irish entry, Green Dragon, which finished fifth overall. Footage, stills and emails of his exploits contributed to a massive media reach in China.

Of the cumulative broadcast audience of 1.3 billion, China led the way in the new territories by delivering an audience of 600 million, 45 per cent of the race total.

Spectators were also lured by the fascination of the race, with the Race Village footfall in Qingdao reaching 363,700.

Other confirmed ports on the 2011-12 course include the start in Alicante, site of the Volvo Ocean Race HQ, stopovers in Cape Town, Abu Dhabi, Lisbon, Lorient and the finish in Galway. The entire route will be revealed by the end of March, when details on scoring, leg lengths and other details will be confirmed.

VOLVO 2011-2012: Dangerous route?

With some of the latest stopovers announced, it is clear that the new route will take the teams close to some of the most dangerous waters in the world. Pirates have become a major concern over the last few years - is this irresponsible or is the threat being controlled. Watch this space.

VOLVO 2011-2012: Stopovers almost complete

The 2011-12 Volvo Ocean Race will start in the autumn in Alicante, Spain, and go on to Cape Town, Abu Dhabi and Sanya, China. Lisbon is the first European stop after the transatlantic crossing, followed by Lorient in France. The race will finish in Galway and the remaining route will be announced by the end of March 2010.

VOLVO 2011-2012: Abu Dhabi confirmed as stopover

Monday 15 March 2010, 13:00 GMT

Abu Dhabi, the capital of the United Arab Emirates, has broken new ground for the Volvo Ocean Race by being confirmed as the first Middle East stopover in the history of the event.

A boat from Abu Dhabi will also take its place on the start line of the 2011-12 race in Alicante, Spain in the autumn of next year.

The agreement was signed between His Excellency Mubarak Al Muhairi, the director general of the Abu Dhabi Tourism Authority (ADTA) and Volvo Ocean Race CEO Knut Frostad.

"We found in Abu Dhabi an incredible synergy," said Frostad. "This destination has a long maritime history which it wishes to elevate to a new era while celebrating the achievements of the past.

"There was a willingness to meet our requirements, an understanding of the participants' needs and an enthusiasm which simply stood out ahead of others."

Team Abu Dhabi, a crew specially selected by the ADTA will campaign a new Volvo Open 70 which will be built in the UAE capital by the Abu Dhabi Mar Group.

"It is our ambition to include a UAE national in the crew who will be our ocean ambassador representing the emirate's long seafaring heritage," said Al Muhairi.

"The locally-constructed boat will also signal our potential as a new build and repair port, which will recall the heady days when vessels made on these shores set sail for months of pearling expeditions and proved to be among the sturdiest afloat."

The new marina being built at Emirates Palace - the emirate's signature hotel and among the world's most opulent - will be the focal point of the host port.

"This event will take Abu Dhabi's marine leisure proposition to the world and will enable us to demonstrate, first hand, our powerful credentials to a highly influential professional yachting audience," said His Highness Sheikh Sultan Bin Tahnoon Al Nahyan, Chairman of ADTA.

"Via the expansive international media coverage the race enjoys, Abu Dhabi's name will ride high on another world-class sporting wave," he added.

According to Al Muhari, the neighbouring emirates and the broader gulf region is expected to get fully behind the event and to welcome the Volvo Ocean Race fleet to the region when the crews arrive in Abu Dhabi at the finish of leg two from Cape Town, South Africa.

"The Volvo Ocean Race is known for extreme levels of endurance and expertise - values which are synonymous with our own," added Al Muhairi. "I believe the entire region will follow the teams' progress and produce a welcome which will be truly deserving of the legendary Arabian hospitality."

The remaining host ports will be revealed throughout the remainder of March.

VOLVO 2011-2012: Galway confirmed as stopover

Wednesday 10 March 2010, 13:00 GMT

Galway, which staged a hugely successful stopover in 2008-09, is back on the map again - this time as the finish port for the 2011-12 edition of the Volvo Ocean Race.

Galway withstood strong opposition from several rival cities in the official port bidding process to earn the right to host not only the finale but also the overall prize-giving ceremony.

In 2008-09, Galway was the stopover for the end of the transatlantic leg from Boston. This time the fleet will sail from Lorient in France back to the Emerald Isle.

At today's announcement, Volvo Ocean Race CEO Knut Frostad said that the interest in hosting the event, particularly in Europe, had been "overwhelming". He added that he was delighted the race was returning to Irish shores.

"I am very proud to confirm Ireland's participation and Galway will be a magnificent port to stage the finish of the event," he said.

"We have already experienced the enthusiasm that abounds in Ireland for the race and we are looking forward to bringing the competition to its conclusion in a country that really knows how to celebrate."

At a press conference to mark the occasion, Irish Taoiseach (prime minister) Brian Cowen, said: "The 2009 stopover in Galway made an abiding impression on the sailors, support crews, organisers and media, who were immersed in the warmth of an Irish welcome.

"Their presence, in turn, had an enormous beneficial impact on Galway, the west of Ireland and indeed the entire country. Their arrival here was spectacular and their visit helped generate a massive 55 million Euros for the regional economy, more than one third higher than the original projections

"Given its economic benefits and its importance to Irish tourism, I am more than happy to welcome the return of the Volvo Ocean Race to our shores and pledge our support for the event."

The Galway stopover, in May 2009, was one of the standout successes of the 2008-09 race. A crowd of 30,000 flocked to the dockside for the arrival of the first boats home in the early hours. It set the tone for what was to follow.

Over 650,000 spectators filed through the race village during the week-long event. The crowd peaked at 62,000 on the in-port race day alone - with the seaside resort of Salthill drawing a further 120,000 visitors.

Green Dragon, the Irish/Chinese entry, grabbed a podium position by finishing third into its 'home port' at end of an eventful leg 7, triggering wild celebrations. The reception stunned skipper Ian Walker and his crew. Walker's entry was the second Irish boat to contest the event after NCB Ireland in the 1989-90 Whitbread.

The balance sheet looked healthy as well with the final economic impact figure put at Euros 55.8 million by Deloitte. That was 30% above initial projections.

Galway completes the list of European cities hosting the 2011-12 race. The remaining ports will be introduced during the remainder of March.

VOLVO 2011-2012: Lisbon stopover confirmed

Monday 01 March 2010, 12:00 GMT

Lisbon has been chosen as the first of the European ports for the 2011-12 race. It will be the first time that the historic Portuguese port has hosted a stopover.

Lisbon, located in the west of Portugal, will be the finish of the transatlantic leg of the race during the summer of 2012.

Interest in hosting the race in Europe was received from 34 cities, 15 of which went through to the final phase of the bidding process. Europe was by far the most competitive continent in the selection procedure.

"It is great to have such an iconic city included in our list of stopovers and Lisbon, especially, has wonderful sailing conditions, which will make for a very exciting in-port race," said CEO Knut Frostad.

"Lisbon is a delightful city with much to offer the race. This will be a stopover to look forward to after the rigours of the transatlantic leg.

Antonio Costa, Mayor of the City of Lisbon, was delighted that the city had joined the Volvo fold. "Lisbon has a great navigational past and the Volvo Ocean Race helps increase this. It is the capital of the Atlantic and it’s natural for Lisbon to be the transatlantic finish."

"The Volvo Ocean Race has been an amazing event since 1973 and we are very proud to succeed in gaining this stopover," he said. "Victory was obtained through the great efforts of all parties, made possible by Tourism Portugal, Tourism Lisbon and Lagos Sports."

"No other city in Europe has such good conditions for this event," stated Bernardo Trindade, the Under Secretary of State of Tourism. "We project we will have thousands of visitors to Lisbon and we see it as a very important economic and touristic event."

João Lagos, Chairman of Lagos Sports thanked the race for believing in Lisbon. "We are a small country but dynamic," he said, "and we went for this event and got it!"

The Lisbon announcement follows the confirmation of Cape Town as the first port of call for the 2011-12 race which starts in Alicante, Spain.

The second European port will be announced on Wednesday 3 March. The entire route will be revealed by the end of the month.

jueves, 11 de marzo de 2010

34th Americas Cup

Wonder what Larry will do with the Cup - there are so any rumours circulating, but only time will tell. It seems unlikely that he will stay in Valencia, even after earlier promises made by him. One thing for sure -I have never seen a photo of him each paella like that ( not sure if that is a bad thing!?)

If he takes the Cup back to the land of the Free, where will he go and how much control does the GGYC have?

Whether we like Larry or not - what the Cup needs is a fresh start and for people to accept it for what it is. The Defender will always have the edge, but they still need to tell the Challengers how they can play. Watch this space.

Where is she now?

We think she isn´t in Valencia anymore - will we see her again. I still think she might have been more of a match in different waters. Also, Alinghi seemed to sail well below their normal high level - I guess we will never see her measured.
We continue to wonder what will happen in Valencia.

SNG writes to GGYC regarding the ongoing litigation

Société Nautique de Genève writes to the Golden Gate Yacht Club requesting that - for the good of the sport - the GGYC agrees to end all litigation concerning the 33rd America’s Cup and all prior Cups...

The SNG reiterates that it stands ready to withdraw its challenges to the Deed compliance of GGYC’s boat, and to exchange a mutual release regarding all claims arising out of the 33rd America’s Cup and all prior Cups. To read the letter in full, please click here.

See the letter.

ISAF Confirms Receipt of 33rd America's Cup Report Forms

The International Sailing Federation (ISAF) today confirmed the receipt of the Regatta Report Forms from the ISAF Race Officials appointed to the 33rd America's Cup Match.
The Regatta Report Forms were received from the ISAF appointed Principal Race Officer Harold Bennett and the Chairman of the International Jury David Tillett. They will be sent to the ISAF Race Officials Committee who will review the contents and make recommendations if deemed necessary.The completion of Regatta Report Forms is a standard requirement of Principal Race Officers, International Jury Chairman and Chief Umpires at international or major events.The purpose of the report system is to provide an assessment of the ISAF appointed officials and to learn from incidents or exceptional situations that happened during an event. Several changes to The Racing Rules of Sailing and changes in the ISAF Race Official Manuals have been made as a result of situations described in Regatta Report Forms.

The 33rd America’s Cup Match was sailed last month off the coast of Valencia and decided in two matches between Société Nautique de Genève defending the Cup with team Alinghi against Golden Gate Yacht Club, and their racing team BMW Oracle Racing. Team BMW Oracle Racing won the Match 2–0.ISAF appointed the Race Officials team to the 33rd America’s Cup Match to ensure fair play on the water.ISAF thanks Principal Race Officer Harold Bennett for carrying out his duties under very difficult conditions; ISAF supports all his decisions, likewise the Jury under the chairmanship of David Tillett and the Umpire team led by Bill Edgerton. All those involved should be congratulated for maintaining their independence and the high ISAF standard of race management and adjudication.ISAF congratulates Larry Ellison, Russell Coutts and the entire BMW Oracle Racing team from the Golden Gate Yacht Club in San Francisco, USA on winning the 33rd America's Cup. ISAF looks forward to working with the Defender and the Challengers involved in the 34th America's Cup.

America's Cup Regatta Page
For all the latest news, photos and more from the 33rd America's Cup visit our regatta page via the link below.Click here for our 33rd America's Cup regatta page,
Find out more about ISAF Race Officials at www.sailing.org/raceofficials.

Shosholoza shut down...

The Spanish police seals the Team Shosholoza base. Valencia, 11 March 2010. Photo copyright Pierre Orphanidis / Valencia Sailing

Valencia police have shut down the South African base in Valencia today. Pierre from Valencia Sailing was on hand to get some good shots of what happened - see Valencia Sailing, as always on the ball with up to date news.

Whatever the reason, surely a sad sight and must be closure on Valencia as a Cup Venue? No matter what version of the story you hear, they are clearly not welcome here.

Where do you think the Cup will go?

Source San Francisco Examiner

Port of San Francisco commissioners plan to do “everything possible” to attempt to bring the 34th America’s Cup to San Francisco.
The United States is slated to host the next cup, after Larry Ellison’s BMW Oracle Racing’s trimaran won this year’s event. The team was sponsored by the Golden Gate Yacht Club. Bay Area leaders have called on the team to select San Francisco Bay as the location for next race.
The Port Commission on Tuesday afternoon were scheduled to approve a resolution in support of efforts to bring the next race to the Bay.
“Holding the America’s Cup Race on the San Francisco Bay will bring significant major sporting event income into the local economy from teams’ operating expenditures, and increased private and corporate tourism to watch races on the same order of magnitude as the Olympic Games, Super Bowl or World Cup,” stated the resolution.
“Having the America’s Cup Race on the San Francisco Bay would continue and support San Francisco’s already high profile as one of the top destinations in the world and the Port’s mission of attracting more visitors to the waterfront and the Bay Area,” it stated.
The resolution resolves that the Port Commission, in partnership with Mayor Gavin Newsom’s office and the rest of the San Francisco family, “will do everything possible to secure a San Francisco venue suitable for the hosting of the 34th America's Cup on the San Francisco Bay."