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Displaying items by tag: Offshore

Proposals for ten potential conservation zones in the Irish Sea are earmarked in a second report released from the Irish Sea Conservation Zones project.

The area include the inshore waters of Merseyside, Lancashire and Cumbria and offshore waters of the Isle of Man, Wales, Northern Ireland and England. One of the zones is a 187 square km stretch of deep water between Northern Ireland and the Isle of Man.

In order to gain a greater understanding of the proposed zones, the report commissioned a Regional Stakeholder Group which drew from a diverse range of interests in the Irish Sea. Among the stakeholders included were the Royal Yachting Association, the fishing community and ports authorities. The review identified the size, shape and locations of the proposed 10 ten new Marine Conservation Zones. For the first time, the zones included inshore water of the Irish Sea project area as well as offshore.

"This is a real milestone for the project, with potential Marine Conservation Zones identified in both inshore and offshore waters", said Greg Whitfield, project manager at Irish Sea Conservation Zones.

"It is now really important that people take a look at the potential zones and give us their feedback on them. The better the information we have, the better the Marine Conservation Zones that are recommended by the regional stakeholder group will be."

Each of the marine conservation zones are designed to protect nationally important marine wildlife, habitats and geology. In addition they are designed to have the least impact possible on people's activities, but some restrictions will apply as the zones must meet guidelines for protecting species and habitats.

Members of the public are being invited to participate and will be considered as the second project continues to refine its proposals. The report is only a snapshot of the work so far. It does not contain concrete recommendations for the locations of Marine Conservation Zones (MCZ) in the Irish Sea, and the potential zones shown in the report are described as tentative and liable to change.

The Irish Sea Conservation Zone project will be releasing a third report before the Regional Stakeholder Group finalises its recommendations. The reports are delivered to the Science Advisory Panel. The independent body is comprised of expert scientists whose main role is to evaluate the potential of MCZs against ecological criteria.

The third progress report will be made available in February 2011. Its final recommendations will then be presented to the UK government in June. Following that a formal public consultation on the proposed MCZs are to take place in late 2011 and early 2012.

For information on the Second Progress Report including feedback forms can be downloaded from HERE or by calling 00 44 (0)1925 813 200

Published in Marine Science

With just 24 hours to go to the announcement of sailing's boat of the year award at tomorrow's Cork harbour ICRA conference the consistent poll topper from Afloat's online survey shows ISORA offshore champion Raging Bull as a clear favourite with 1175 votes. Second is Marinerscove on 873 and Errislannan third on 256 votes. Polling began just over a month ago and 2,600 votes have been cast. See the poll on the left hand column of the home page. There's still time to cast your vote to try and influence ICRA judges!

 

 

Published in ICRA

ISORA has published its race schedule for 2011 and to win the overall series next year boats must complete 4 of the 6 "qualifying". Points for the overall series will then be taken from the Best 5 results from ALL the races completed.

The offshore body has also changed the scoring of each race to the High Score system and it will apply weightings for those qualifying races depending on the complexity of the race. The aim is to better reward the winner and participants of longer races with bigger fleets.

To provide opportunities for those boats who have not been winning to win prizes and trophies, it was also agreed at last weeks agm to create a "Silver" fleet in both Class 1 and Class 2. The selection of boats to enter the "Silver" fleet for 2011 will be based on their performance in 2010. The success of these new classes will depend on maintaining the number of boats entering and racing at least at last years numbers.

The NOR and Entry forms for ISORA 2011 will be published later this month.

The Race Programme is attached for download below.

 

Published in ISORA

Irish Sea Offshore sailing Chief Peter Ryan has circulated the Notice and Agenda for next Saturday's ISORA AGM at the National Yacht Club and told Ireland's biggest band of offshore crews to wear dinner jackets so they can vote on next year's sailing, watch Ireland play South Africa and attend the formal ISORA prize giving dinner all at the same waterfront venue.

The AGM takes place at 14.00 at the NYC. The rugby match is on at 17.30 and Ryan says if sailors are interested they can dress up in your tux and watch the match.

Immediately after the match at 19.45, the pre-dinner drinks reception will be held in the JB Room of the Dun Laoghaire club with complimentary sparkling wine and classical music by the Neptune Trio.

Dinner will be at 20.30 sharp to enable the prize giving to take place at 22.00 and finish of ceremonies by 23.00 latest. After this sailors can relax or dance the night away at the ISORA disco.

AGM papers are attached for download.

Published in ISORA
Top Irish offshore sailor Damian Foxall, now sailing with team Groupama in the next Volvo Ocean Race is on this weeks podcast from the VOR team. He's talking about the Route de Rhum. Find him HERE
Published in Offshore

The group of boats that arrived at the finish line in Marsamxett Harbour this afternoon spent most of the 600 miles within reach of each other, and how they made some key tactical decisions along the way would make or break their results.

Dun Laoghaire's Legally Brunette is over the top of the Sicily and heading for home. Tonight at 2000 hours she was heading 122 degrees and doing seven knots. The screen shot  below from the race tracker shows the sole Irish boat (marked by a red box) in the top left hand corner.

legallybrunette

Vladimir Proshikin's chartered Volvo 70 E1 (RUS) crossed the finish line at 12.35 today, in fourth place on elapsed time. The Russian sailor, from St Petersburg competed last year on his Shipman 72, a performance cruiser/racer, quite the polar opposite of this five-year old round-the-world ocean racer. While the conditions were lighter this year, the crew had a workout with numerous sail changes, a net wrapped around the keel and a canting keel stuck off center for the last ten miles. Still, on the quay after the finish, Proshikin was clearly elated and quite animated in relating the trip. "This race was a bit slower, but in light air it's even more demanding. It was fun and it's quite intriguing, but took a bit longer so we are a bit tired. It's a vey impressive race, difficult conditions, with many islands -- it's not like running 600 miles from start to finish in a straight line, it's tricky.

"We had some bad luck a couple of times, catching the net around the keel for several hours (which required a neat trick where they sheeted in the main and canted the keel the wrong way, so a crew member could 'walk' out and then get in the water to dive and cut it away). We're on the boat for the first time as a crew, with only a week of training, and it's a very complex boat. Sometimes you are lucky, and sometimes not...but overall, I'm happy!"

But it was Bryon Ehrhart's TP52 Lucky, that crossed the finish line after 3 days, 3 hours, 16 minutes, which put the US boat on top of the leader board on corrected time, for now.

The Chicago-based skipper/owner has had the Rolex Middle Sea Race on his 'to do' list for awhile and has methodically planned a race schedule – that included last year's Rolex Fastnet Race – that would give them some good practice and put them in the Med this year. Ehrhart said, "What a great race and probably the best offshore race we've done in terms of the style of race. Getting up through Messina was a challenge on it's own – it's like multiple regattas within one large long race, it's very scenic, but there are opportunities to screw up all over the place!

"But thankfully, Ian Moore is a fantastic navigator. We were very happy with the calls we made all the way around. Times where we thought we'd have a lifts, we generally had lifts; times we'd thought we'd get knocks coming into important marks, we got knocks. So a lot of worry and decision about whether 25-50 miles out you're going to make the right decision about sailing this course to get to a knock or lift, and I put it up to his genius in getting us there.

"We spent a lot of time next to Wild Joe, she was actually an additional motivator. Several times we were in and out with her. The Cookson 50 (Cantankerous), Wild Joe, and Pace – we were on each others' mind all the time."

Ian Moore who, as a last-minute addition to the crew, seemed to have earned his keep with their impressive performance. The Irish Volvo Ocean Race veteran and BMW Oracle America's Cup crew member said, "It was good race, pretty exciting, lots of lead changes. We were pleased every time we managed to pass (the TP52) Pace, and then their boat speed got up again, and then we got another opportunity. Lots of moments the race would restart and give us the option to use our abilities.

Of the difference between the two TP52s, Moore said, "They are very different vintages. Pace was built for the TP52 Worlds in Miami and is an ultra-light racing machine. Lucky was designed to race across the Pacific Ocean and be able to keep the crew on board on that 3000 nm passage. Pace is an inshore racing boat, and Lucky is an ocean-going boat, a lot heavier, stronger. But, it's nice for me to sail on this boat, to know this is a good, strong and safe boat. Every time you take a normal TP52 on a race track, you are always crossing your fingers and hoping it's going to stand the test of time."

Moore enjoyed the course and said, "It is a spectacular course; it's a circular course, start and finishing in Malta. Going up to the Strait of Messina and just running into that five knots of current, apparently from nowhere, and going around the smoking volcano of Stromboli and all the islands, including Pantelleria, Lampedusa. They're like an island in the middle of nowhere, but there are always people living on there, no bigger than a view football pitches. It's really a pretty amazing race track; it's lovely to come and do it again."

This was Wild Joe's skipper/owner, Marton Jozsa third Rolex Middle Sea Race, though for most of his Hungarian crew it was their first-ever offshore race. Jozsa said, "I think this is the first good offshore racing result in Hungarian sailing, so I think we can be satisfied with this result – and we are! We have one guy from Australia with experience in offshore racing and it is very good to have this guy on board.

"We very much like sailing here in Malta and also in this race, so I hope we will be here again. Besides some races in Croatia, next year we are planning to take part in Rolex Capri Sailing Week in May – for us, the Rolex Volcano Race – and after, we will see."

Bret Perry, strategist and the lone Australian onboard Wild Joe, said, "The team is a bunch of dinghy sailors, and it's their first offshore experience. It's a new boat to Hungary, and not many people have seen a Hungarian sailing team. I didn't know quite what to expect myself, but once we got sailing on the boat, the crew was really fantastic, sailing 100%, and gave us every opportunity to finish where we finished.

"You have to be realistic and get out there and do your best, but to get what we achieved they should be really, really proud. They're all so talented, they're Olympic-level sailors, they know what's going on, they just need to understand the bigger picture and get out of windward-leeward type of sailing – and this is their first experience in an offshore boat.

Jonas Diamantino's Comanche Raider II, from the Royal Malta Yacht Club, has been taking a pasting but spirits are high, as he explained as they passed Pantelleria earlier today. "Pretty hectic, pretty scary. We got hit by a 45-knot squall, with very confused seas, and it was all on. But everybody is fine and so is the boat, but it was a tough few hours. We are now doing ten knots and heading for home.  Tell the bar at the club to get the beer on ice!"

Lucky are currently leading overall on corrected time in IRC, but they have to withstand challenges from at least two boats that are in contention for the overall win. Sort of like history repeating itself, the two boats are the Lee Satariano & Christian Ripard's J/122 Artie, and John Ripard & Andrew Calascione's J/133 Jaru. The last time a Maltese boat won the Rolex Middle Sea race overall was Market Wizard in 2002 with Ripard & Calascione, and in 2001 it was Christian Ripard's Straight Dealer.

The Maltese Beneteau 411, Fekruna, retired just west of Stromboli, bringing the total number of retired boats to eight, with eight boats finished and 60 still racing.

The race fleet can be tracked online at www.rolexmiddlesearace.com/tracker/#tracker

The final prize giving is at 12.00pm on Saturday, 30 October at the Mediterranean Conference Center in Valletta.

Published in Offshore
Offshore boss Peter Ryan has submitted two sailing issues for consideration at ISORA's AGM in the National YC on the 6th November.

The first is a proposed race schedule for 2011. Due to the number of races and the large variation in the distance and complexity, Ryan is proposing to identify some of the main races as those that qualify for the Overall ISORA Series - "The Wolf's Head Trophy". The other races will qualify for another lesser series that involves all races. Trophies and prizes will be awarded for all races irrespective of status.

The second issue is the proposed use of the High Score system and incorporating a difficulty coefficient to reflect the type of race involved. The use of the high scoring system will also be preferable when dealing with a series where many boats will not do most of the races and the variation in the fleet numbers can be significant.

Stephen Tudor of PSC has used the results from 2010 to illustrate the proposed system and these are attached below. Unfortunately (or fortunately) in the example the places of the top boats are generally unaltered but this is due to the fact that the top boats did most or all the races.

Ryan also says he has contacted RORC and they have agreed in principle to accept any ISORA race of over 75 miles and incorporating a night passage as a qualifier for next year's Fastnet Race.

The main purpose of the exercise is to encourage boats to do as many of the races as possible but not the penalise them too much for races missed. It is also to reward those boats more that win in large fleets over a win in a smaller fleets. Day races will be used to encourage and entice more new entries to ISORA in 2011.

The Race Schedule and Scoring System will be agreed at the AGM.

Published in ISORA

And they're off! With the sun shining brightly and a fresh breeze blowing, the five international skippers in the Velux 5 Oceans blasted across the start line beginning a 30,000-mile adventure around the globe.

It was the start of an epic voyage for the ocean racers, during which they will sail their 60ft Eco 60 yachts across five oceans through some of the best – and worst – conditions known to man. Thousands of people flocked to the 5 OCEANS race village in La Rochelle, France, to watch the brave men depart on their adventure.

Crowds packed the race village and lined the walls surrounding the Bassin des Chalutiers to watch the emotional goodbyes as the skippers said farewell to their family and friends. Following a moving departure ceremony held on the steps of the VELUX House the five impressive Eco 60s left the dockside at 1pm to rapturous applause.

More than 400 spectator boats carrying thousands of fans, friends and family of the skippers and media accompanied the fleet out to the start area. A host of special guests were among the spectators including Maxime Bono, the Deputy Mayor of La Rochelle, and Jack Dillenbourg, the Mayor of Sport for La Rochelle. Race veterans including Isabelle Autissier, Jean Luc Van Den Heede, Thierry Dubois and Bernard Stamm as well as round the world sailor Nick Moloney joined race chairman Sir Robin Knox-Johnston to watch the action from the water.

After months of build-up, the starting gun finally sounded at 4pm and the four-yearly race, known as The Ultimate Solo Challenge, began. The 2010/11 edition of the race is the eighth its 28-year history. Polish ocean racer Zbigniew 'Gutek' Gutkowski showed his aggressive style of racing honed during years of top level dinghy racing hitting the start line right as the starting gun fired. Although Gutek's yacht Operon Racing is the oldest boat in the fleet, it is a previous Vendée Globe winner and he led the fleet to the first mark, south east of the Ile de Ré.

American sailor Brad Van Liew crossed the line in second place and chased hard, overtaking Gutek after the first mark. Brad has already completed the VELUX 5 OCEANS twice, winning class two of the race in 2002. His yacht Le Pingouin also has a claim to fame, built by legendary French solo sailor Catherine Chabaud for the 1998 edition of the Vendée Globe.

Canadian Derek Hatfield, Belgian Christophe Bullens and Briton Chris Stanmore-Major regularly swapped places as they raced into the Bay of Biscay. However places are irrelevant at such an early stage of the race – the sailors have more than 7,000 nautical miles to go before they reach the first stopover in Cape Town, South Africa.

Christophe Bullens will sail a 48-hour qualification passage before returning to La Rochelle to carry out final preparations for the race. He already qualified in his yacht Five Oceans of Smiles but she was cruelly dismasted en route to La Rochelle three weeks before the race start. Christophe's team worked tirelessly to find another Eco 60 to race on and with just days to go he acquired Artech 60, now renamed Five Oceans of Smiles too. Christophe is expected to set sail again from La Rochelle on Thursday.

The VELUX 5 OCEANS, run by Clipper Ventures PLC, is the longest running solo round the world race, and has 28 years of rich heritage as the BOC Challenge and then the Around Alone. This edition features five ocean sprints over nine months. After heading from La Rochelle to Cape Town, the race will then take in Wellington in New Zealand, Salvador in Brazil and Charleston in the US before returning back across the Atlantic to France.

Follow all the action at www.velux5oceans.com.

Published in Offshore
Tagged under
Nine solo offshore sailing hopefuls, from across the UK,  have today been selected as the first Development Squad of the Artemis Offshore Academy.  The Academy, sponsored by the investment management company Artemis, was set up earlier this year to nurture British offshore sailing talent.  The long-term aspiration of the Academy is to put a British sailor in a position to win the solo Vendée Globe in 2016 or 2020.

From an original list of over 50 applicants, those who made it to the shortlist were put through a grueling mental and physical selection process.  They were pushed well beyond their comfort zones with nine ultimately chosen to be part of the Development Squad:

•    Oliver Bond (30, Southampton)
•    Nick Cherry (25, Birmingham/Southampton)
•    Sam Goodchild (20, Southampton)
•    Simon Hiscocks (37, Surrey/Portland)
•    Nick Houchin (26, Tadley, Hampshire)
•    Nigel King (41, Lymington)
•    Becky Scott (24, Scotland/Fleet)
•    Phil Sharp (29, Jersey)
•    Oliver Young (22, Saltash)

As part of the Squad, they will begin a winter-long programme where they will develop the skills needed to perform as a world class offshore sailor.  The Academy will be based from the Weymouth and Portland National Sailing Academy until the end of November when they will relocate to La Grande Motte Figaro School (CEM).  From here CEM Director Franck Citeau will manage a full programme for the sailors through to the end of March.  At that point one of the Squad will be selected for the scholarship which will enable them to race in the 2011 French Figaro circuit in one of the Artemis Figaro boats.  The remaining Squad will continue to train and take part in a series of races throughout 2011, including Royal Ocean Racing Club's most famous race the Rolex Fastnet Race, and the Tour du Bretagne at the end of September.

The group will be bolstered by two associate members, 36 year old Pip Hare (Felixstowe) and 37 year old Conrad Humphreys (Plymouth) who, instead of being provided with equipment and costs, will bring their own campaign to train with the Academy.  As the project develops, the aim is that more people will move on from the Development Squad to become associate members and keep training with the Academy.

Sailors will remain in the Development Squad for as long as they are attaining pre-agreed training goals.  The aim is to allow sailors the time in the Figaro boats to develop their skills before moving into other classes or finding their own funding for a campaign.  Further selections to top up the squad will be held in April and September 2011.

Conrad Humphreys commented: "When the Artemis Offshore Academy was announced earlier this year, I immediately thought it was not only a great idea but also the missing link for UK aspiring and seasoned solo sailors.  No one would argue that when compared to our French counterparts, we simply do not do enough collaborative training or development in between the major events. The Figaro championship is one of the best programmes for short-handed development and there is no secret to the fact that every Vendée Globe winner maintains close links with the class. I hope the Artemis Offshore Academy will become a place to nurture new talent and provide Associate sailors like myself with support to compete at the top level. I will be looking for a sponsor to do the Solitaire du Figaro in 2011 and the Transat in 2012 and I look forward to working with the rest of the squad over the coming 12 months."

Simon Hiscocks commented: "The British success in the Olympics is a direct result of a very long programme that the RYA has run right from the grass roots getting people learning to sail up to winning Olympic gold medals. And that whole thing has a massive structure behind it - you name it they are on it.  Hopefully we can transfer that success into this field through this programme. The Artemis Offshore Academy opens up a whole new world of opportunities, not least of which is potentially being able to do the Vendée Globe, and I am really excited to be part of it."

John Thorn, Artemis Offshore Academy Performance Director commented:
"From their application and CVs, we knew we had the sailors.  It was then more a question of trying to identify some of the other traits that we felt were an important part of success in short sailing and offshore sailing.  There were lots of elements that we were looking for.

The nine development squad members that we have chosen have got tremendous potential – and we looked at that potential over short, medium and long term.  But they are experienced sailors, they are technical competent sailors and they have the desire to win.

We will identify what the sailors need and we will deliver that, using the best coaches, the best venues, the best resources we can. We'll give them everything they need in order to be successful.

I am tremendously optimistic and truly believe, because we are building a foundation for long term success, that we will see an Artemis Offshore Academy sailor on the podium for the Vendée Globe. It is an incredibly exciting time and this is just the beginning."

Published in Offshore

Boats were returning to Cowes Yacht Haven throughout yesterday, back from the offshore race of the 2010 Rolex Commodores' Cup. With a 2.5x point co-efficient this race had the potential to provide a major upset in the results, but after four days of competition the Irish team hold an even more commanding lead, now up to 29.5 points. Hong Kong has regained second place, this time with a 25-point cushion over the leading French team, which in turn is just 5 points ahead of GBR Red and 15 points ahead of France Yellow in fifth.

Dave Dwyer’s marinerscove.ie was overall winner of Class 2 while team captain Anthony O’Leary’s Antix scored second place.  Rob Davies Roxy 6 skippered by Andrew Creighton was fourth in Class 3.

“We’re feeling quite positive as we’ve just had one of the best offshore results ever – the lads all worked their socks off,” commented Barry Rose, Commodore of ICRA.  “We’ve strengthened our lead so we’re in a good, solid position and looking forward to the rest of the regatta.”
The team had all returned to Cowes by mid-afternoon to prepare the three boats for tomorrow’s (Thursday) Rolex Trophy race on a long-inshore race that is expected to last three hours.  Friday will also feature a single race as the fleet competes for bonus points in the Round Isle of Wight course.

Saturday’s single race finale counts for double-points and strong challenges from Hong Kong, France Blue and Britain’s GBR Red are expected.
“Its still all to play for. Hong Kong are looking very strong and there are a lot of points still to be earned,” cautioned Rose.  “There’ll be no change in our strategy – we have a plan and we’re going to stick to it.  Its about grind out the results day by day.”

Hong Kong and Ireland scored equal points in the offshore race with the former's Rockall III winning the small boat class while the latter's marinerscove.ie claimed the mid-sized class.
On the water Rockall III was first home in the whole fleet, crossing the line just to the west of the entrance to Portsmouth Harbour at 10:40:41 BST, winning her class by almost one hour on corrected time. While racing for Hong Kong, where he used to live, Rockall III's owner Christopher Opielok is German. His crew is largely from Hong Kong but also includes two Dutch, one Irishman and three Australians. According to Opielok he bought his Corby 36 specifically to compete in the Rolex Commodores' Cup, "we have been preparing for this for a long time. The boat clocked since delivery to us last year, 4,000 miles. We did a lot of offshore racing. We have four very good helmsmen. The navigation was very well prepared. We had a good tactician and I believe altogether with a very good boat, ended up with this result."
Opielok said they faced stiff competition from the Irish team's small boat, Roxy 6, "we focussed on sail trim and sailed extremely hard without any rest. We knew we could only beat Roxy upwind. We put all our effort into the 60-mile beat and then we tried to control them downwind. Luckily the tide went with us and pushed us even further than expected." The tide was particularly beneficial on the final run into the finish.
Simon Henning, owner of the Alice II from GBR White was delighted to have won the big boat division. His Farr 45, the biggest yacht in this year's Rolex Commodores' Cup does not have a favourable rating and they have not performed well in the inshore racing so far. Having to continue past Anvil Point and on to the East Shambles mark in Weymouth Bay, the Class 1 course at 191-nautical-miles was some 35 nm longer than the Class 3 version, which simply did an about-turn at Poole. Yet Alice II reached the finish line just under four minutes astern of Rockall III.
Alice led the 30-boat fleet out of the Solent in the strongest conditions of the race and enjoyed a fantastic blast down to the Owers, the easternmost mark of the course, to the southeast of Selsey Bill. "We saw 24-25 knots [of wind] and we were surfing up to 17 several times – it was lovely," commented Henning. Thanks to this they caught the tide turning at the Owers and from there never looked back. Despite the wind dropping to five knots this morning, they claimed the big boat class by a margin of 1 hour 20 minutes on corrected time.
Aside from torrential rain yesterday afternoon, conditions were not as bad as had been forecast. In the southwesterly breeze the sea was being kicked up by the wind-against-tide on the first beat out of The Solent and apart from the overfalls off St Catherine's Point, the southern tip of the Isle of Wight, it was generally considered a pleasant race.
"It was great fun - the course had a fabulous variety," commented Anthony O'Leary, who's Ker 39 Antix corrected out to be second amongst the big boats. "Every corner we went around it seemed that the tide was against us, but that was part of plan to give us a varied course with all the options and all the challenges - and there were plenty. Going into Poole Bar in the middle of the night and the Anvil in the dark is a challenge but thankfully we got away and managed to hold the thing together."
O'Leary was thankful that the Irish team had cumulatively posted a solid result in this high scoring race. "You could easily lose the regatta if you had a disaster and in that respect it is certainly satisfying. But there is still plenty to do and there are still plenty of points available. We'll keep on chipping away."
David Dwyer's marinerscove.ie maintained the impeccable Irish performance, first home in the mid-sized class, although by the slender margin of three and a half minutes over Anthony Day's Blondie IV. Tactician on the Irish boat, Andy Beadsworth, commented that, "it was a really good race and it was nice to finish relatively early today." The team enjoyed spending most of the night racing in company with the big boats. "It wasn't that lumpy. We hardly had any water over the deck!" said Beadsworth, adding that he had tried to get some sleep only to be awoken when he overheard the rest of the crew about to make decisions on deck.
Finishing behind Rockall III in the small boat class was Bernard Moureau's JND 35 Gaia in France White. Tactician Alex Mercier said that they are improving with every race aboard their new boat. "The start was a bit improvised but we were able to place ourselves well and to maintain a good position during the entire night and this morning as well." They are still discovering Gaia but have found it goes well under spinnaker.
Behind them in third was Jim Macgregor's Elan 410 Premier Flair, which posted the best result for GBR Red, with another crew who had thought they would perform better inshore than off. The line-up includes British Olympic-squad 470 sailor Ben Saxton as tactician. "It was long but enjoyable, different. It was nice weather because it was windy enough and we made good progress and we finished close to other boats so that kept it fun the whole way around," said Saxton who admits he only slept for about five minutes. Saxton reckons they made their biggest tactical gains with the tide on the beat up to Poole.
Tomorrow the Rolex Commodores' Cup returns to racing on The Solent with one inshore course scheduled for Rolex Trophy Day. Crews get a well-earned rest following their efforts of the past 24 hours or so, with the start scheduled for noon BST. With two high scoring races to follow on Friday (the x1.5 Round the Isle of Wight Race) and Saturday (a double-points inshore race) the teams at the top know this event is far from over. The Irish will sleep more comfortably tonight having cruised through the major test of the week, but undoubtedly will be on alert tomorrow to avoid the pitfalls encountered by previous compatriot teams.
Top Five Teams - Provisional Positions after completion of 5 races
Team / Points / Place
Ireland / 42 / 1
Hong Kong / 71.5 / 2
France Blue / 84 / 3
GBR Red / 89 / 4
France Yellow /99 / 5

 

Published in Commodores Cup
Page 33 of 35

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