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Displaying items by tag: Offshore

#Offshore - A catamaran sailing from Ireland to Cornwall has arrived safely at Newlyn harbour after a 22-hour journey troubled by poor weather.

As This Is Cornwall reports, the vessel was being monitored by Falmouth Coastguard after its original plans to dock at Falmouth were scuppered by inclement conditions at sea and a lack of fuel.

Published in Offshore
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#Offshore - A retired US couple bound for Ireland on their sailing yacht encountered a storm of a different kind when they sought safety from hurricane-force winds in the Port of New Bedford.

According to Massachusetts news site South Coast Today, Gary and Jodi Bratton last month attempted to drop anchor in the harbour, a federally designated anchoring area - but were blocked by New Bedford's Harbour Development Commission, who demanded they either anchor beyond the hurricane barrier or take a city mooring charged at $45 per night.

"The right of navigation comes with it the right to anchorage," said Gary Bratton, who was headed to Galway Bay with his wife. "We didn't feel like we were in a position to negotiate. We're in trouble. We're hurt."

But morning manager Bob Bouley defended the harbour's actions, noting that visiting boaters are being discouraged from anchoring in the area for safety reasons due to construction work around the port's south terminal.

New Bedford shows as a harbour of refuge on US federal charts, says local yachtsman Jeff Pontiff, who adds that the harbour company has had some difficulties reconciling this with the operation of its busy shipping port.

South Coast Today has more on the story HERE.

Published in Offshore
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#fastnet – Plymouth is gearing up to welcome thousands of sailors from all corners of the globe in the Royal Ocean Racing Club's celebrated Rolex Fastnet Race. Now in its 45th edition the biennial race, which started in 1925, features on every seasoned sailor's 'must do' list as well as newcomers seeking a tough personal challenge. Drawn by the history and sporting lure of Europe's oldest and greatest offshore contest, it is legendary within the world of ocean racing.

The 2013 race has already set new records before it's even started: up to 380 boats from over 20 countries, from as far afield as Australia, Russia, America and Lithuania, will converge on the historic maritime City of Plymouth for the finish of the 608 nautical mile race which sets off from Cowes, Isle of Wight on Sunday 11th August.

The race which sees the mammoth fleet round the iconic Fastnet Rock before heading to the finish, showcases the most diverse range of yachts imaginable; from 30ft to 130ft and attracts aspiring sailors to professional crews who race all over the world. Accommodating the largest ever Fastnet fleet and around 3,500 competitors has been made possible by the move to Mount Batten's Plymouth Yacht Haven.

"Plymouth Yacht Haven, Mount Batten has the capacity to supply the extra berthing that is needed in this record breaking year. With so much demand, we had to find a solution and moving the event to Plymouth Yacht Haven and working with Queen Anne's Battery, Sutton Harbour and Mayflower marinas will give us the capacity we need to berth a fleet of this size and provide the facilities expected by the sailors," says Royal Ocean Racing Club's CEO, Eddie Warden Owen.

Also new for 2013 will be the Acoustic Circus in the Race Village, providing top entertainment each afternoon from Tuesday 13th through to Friday 16th August and luckily for those competing, the finish of the race coincides with the British Fireworks Championships, so it is set to be a spectacular week for both visitors, locals and the yachtsmen alike.

Published in Fastnet
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#Offshore - BBC News reports that a sailor who went missing last week during a solo voyage from Plymouth to Portugal has been located and airlifted to hospital after falling overboard.

The 66-year-old man set off last Monday 10 June but apparently suffered chest injuries during the first night.

Falmouth Coastguard has difficulty contacting the man to determine his position but he was eventually found some 225km off the Isles of Scilly. He was later transported by helicopter to Cork for treatment.

Published in Offshore

Last minute packing, food drying, wiring and boat preparations are being hurried along as the North Of Disko crew prepare to set sail from Galway for Greenland in less than two weeks time. As previously reported on Afloat.ie, the voyage is organised by Killary Adventure Expeditions, 'North of Disko' will see a crew of sailors, kayakers, climbers, a photographer and filmmaker set sail for the northwest coast of Greenland on June 15th.

The crew aim to cover over 1500nm to Aasiaat in Greenland, in about 14 days and then continue north, reaching Upernavik, well inside the Arctic Circle, a week later. From there, a team of four will set out on a 300km unsupported sea kayak, navigating through fjords and ice fields, while the team of three climbers will begin to tackle a series of first ascents, as they follow the kayakers south.

Adding a further dimension to the expedition, photographer Daragh Muldowney aims to explore and capture the beauty of this spectacular coastline, with the aim of publishing a book and hosting an exhibition upon return. The entire expedition and its achievements will also be documented through film by one of only two female crew-members, Claire Riordan.

Leading the crew on board the 49ft, ex admirals cup racing yacht the 'Killary Flyer' is Jamie Young, whose previous expeditions include the successful Irish Cape Horn Sea Kayak Expedition in 1989, the Guinea Bissau Sea Kayak Expedition in 1992, and the 'South Aris' expedition, which attempted to re-enact Shackleton's epic boat trip from Elephant Island to South Georgia, in 1997.

The crew also includes four young twenty-somethings embarking on the adventure of a lifetime as well as seasoned kayakers Ali Donald, Kevin O'Callaghan and climber Collin Gibbon.
Further information on the expedition, crew and updates on preparations can be found at www.northofdisko.com

Published in Cruising
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#RTIR - Winning tactical advice from some well-known names and faces associated with the Round the Island Race has been posted online ahead of the latest edition of the iconic annual event at the Isle of Wight.

Later today (31 May) will also see the official pre-race press conference on the eve of the 2013 JP Morgan Asset Management Round the Island Race, the 82nd anniversary of one of the most prestigious events on the world sailing calendar.

A terrific line-up of guests including Dame Ellen MacArthur and Alex Thomson will be on hand for the presser, which will be streamed live online and will also feature a tribute to the late Andrew 'Bart' Simpson, whose memorial service and private funeral is also being held today. The Island Sailing Club will fly the ensign at half-mast this afternoon.

Later this evening, the race competitors will meet for the all-important weather briefing. Racers will be given the latest weather and tidal information luve, coboned with tactical advice from Met Office-trained professional meteorologist Chris Tibbs.

In addition, competitors can evaulate the weather prior to the race by viewing the course overview and tidal strategy videos at the Raymarine website.

Among this year's competitors are Yvonne Margerison and her long-term partner Mike Flint, who are racing in their 20th Round the Island Race.

The couple entered their first back in 1993 in their boat Charis and have taken part almost every year since, apart from one when their mast was broken awaiting repair, and another when they sold Charis and were waiting to buy their new boat Gernee (S31) which is entered this year.

Margerison and Flint are passionate about sailing, have been very active members at Rutland Sailing Club - Flint is a past commodore - and both are former commodores at the Newparks Cruising Association Club.

While there's been talk of their retirement from racing - let's hope that won't be till after tomorrow's race, where race organisers hope they'll put in a strong showing.

How to follow the Round The Island Race action

The action begins tomorrow morning 1 June at 5am, and spectators can keep fully up to speed on the racing as it unfolds via the official Round the Island Race website, with features from the live blog to live race tracking, weather updates, and the latest news and results.

The race Facebook page and Twitter feed will also be maintained with the latest happenings. For those wishing to contribute to the Twitter news as the racers sail around the island, use the hashtags #RTIR and/or #RaceForAll to raise another £1 for the official charity, The Ellen MacArthur Cancer Trust.

Published in Offshore

They have already joined forces on land – and now two rising stars of solo sailing have teamed up on the water to launch a top-level double-handed racing campaign.

Fiancées Dan Dytch and Emma Creighton will put their relationship through the ultimate test as they take on some of the world's most promising sailors in a series of races on 40ft Class 40 ocean racing yachts.

Competing as Momentum Ocean Racing, the couple will base themselves on the south coast of England and enter a string of testing events including the Class 40 world championships and the Transat Jacques Vabre, a double-handed race from Le Havre in France to Itajaí in Brazil.

The pair's ultimate goal is the Barcelona World Race, a two-handed, non-stop circumnavigation.

Briton Dytch, 30, and American yachtswoman Creighton, 28, met in 2011 in the run up to the Mini Transat, a 5,200 nautical mile singlehanded race from La Rochelle, France, to Salvador, Brazil.

They soon became a couple and, after both scoring impressive results in the Mini Transat, turned their attention to running a superyacht campaign in the Mediterranean.

But the draw of shorthanded sailing was too much and, after getting engaged in summer 2012, Dytch and Creighton decided to further cement their union by becoming teammates on the water too.

They join only a handful of sailors who have chosen to race alongside their partners including Sam Davies and husband Roman Attanasio who competed in the Transat AG2R together, Anglo-French pair Miranda Merron and Halvard Mabire who raced around the world in the Global Ocean Race and French sailors Dominique Wavre and Michèle Paret who entered the Barcelona World Race together.

Dytch said: "The step up to the Class 40 an exciting advance in our careers. The competition in the 40 is much closer than the Mini because the boat speed between the boats is much more similar. This allows us to work more on tactical decisions, weather, routing and crew work. This is an important step towards our goal of double handing the Barcelona World Race together."

Creighton added: "It's perfect to be sailing together. People often ask if its a good idea and we always reply 'why would we want to sail with anyone else?' We work really well together and bring different strengths to the team."

Dytch and Creighton will be racing the former Concise Class 40, which scored good results under the command of British sailors Sam Goodchild and Ned Collier-Wakefield.

Class 40 yachts are designed to be raced across oceans, and attract some of the most talented sailors on the planet.

The first race of the season, the Normandy Channel Race, saw Momentum Ocean Racing finish eighth from 21 boats, followed by a class win in the Cervantes Trophy.

Their next outing sees them take on the Myth of Malham race starting on May 25.

The pair are currently self-funding their campaign but actively seeking sponsorship in return for exposure around the world.

For more information about the Momentum Ocean Racing campaign, go to www.momentumoceanracing.com .

2013 race calendar:
May 25 - Myth of Malham, Solent, UK
June 1 - Round the Island Race, Isle of Wight, UK
July 4 - Les Sables-Horta, Les Sables d'Olonne, France
August 11 - Fastnet, Cowes, UK
August 17 - Class 40 Worlds – Plymouth, UK
November 3 - Transat Jacques Vabre – Le Havre, France

Published in Offshore
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Francis Joyon is in North Cove Marina in New York taking care of his maxi trimaran IDEC. Today, the official stand-by began as he awaits a weather opportunity to tackle the North Atlantic record between Ambrose Light and the Lizard. A legendary record.

Francis Joyon is in the thick of it. From today, in association with his faithful router, Jean-Yves Bernot, the helmsman of the maxi-trimaran IDEC has been watching the weather closely. The goal is to find the right low-pressure area – or preferably one which strengthens off the Gulf of Saint Lawrence – to be able to sail straignt across the North Atlantic in under 5 days 19 hours and 29 minutes. Or in other words keeping up an average speed of 21 knots... These figures may appear beyond belief and out of reach of ordinary sailors.  But Francis Joyon is not just anyone and the maxi-trimaran IDEC is not just any old boat. Fortunately, as when sailing solo, the task is truly reserved for an elite. We can remember how Ellen MacArthur just missed out on it,  and indeed only five solo sailors have managed to improve on the record launched by Bruno Peyron back in 1987. A time beaten by Florence Arthaud, before Bruno Peyron grabbed the record back. Then, there was Laurent Bourgnon and yes, already up there, Francis Joyon. It was in 2005 aboard the first IDEC trimaran (6 days and 4 hours). In 2008, Thomas Coville bettered that time with the record that is still his today after completing the voyage in 5 days 19 hours and 29 minutes.

Heading for an unprecedented Grand Slam?

"This is not an easy record," Francis Joyon warned us. "To keep up such a high average speed, you need to find the right weather and work hard at it all the time without any easing off."  So that is the real difficulty from a mathematical perspective... while in terms of sailing, he will also have to deal with the legendary mists, marine animals, shipping... and maybe also the wind dropping off as he approaches the coast of SW England.

For Francis Joyon and IDEC, this is a huge challenge. If he pulls this off, Joyon will become the only sailor ever to claim the Grand Slam of outright records. The skipper of IDEC already holds three other record times: the solo round the world record, the 24-hour distance record and the Columbus Route record. It will also be a way for him to gain his revenge after a failed attempt in 2011, when IDEC capsized at the start in New York. An incident that shows just how tricky the task of sailing this incredible wind-making machine can be, and indeed how scary it can be for a solo yachtsman. The North Atlantic record requires an all-out effort. However, that is something that attracts Joyon, who enjoys taking it to the limit, while making it all look so easy, giving the impression that he is just doing a normal sailor's job.  Two things that are far from being the case in reality.

The 5 record times so far set on solo crossings of the North Atlantic:

1987 : Bruno Peyron, catamaran, Explorer, in 11 days, 11 hours 46 minutes and 36 seconds
1990 : Florence Arthaud, trimaran, Pierre 1er, in 9 days, 21 hours and 42 minutes
1992 : Bruno Peyron, catamaran, Explorer, in 9 days, 19 hours and 22 minutes
1994 : Laurent Bourgnon, trimaran, Primagaz, in 7 days, 2 hours, 34 minutes and 42 seconds
2005 : Francis Joyon, trimaran, IDEC 1, in 6 days, 4 hours, 01 minute and 37 seconds
2008 : Thomas Coville, trimaran, Sodebo, in 5 days, 19 hours, 29 minutes and 20 seconds

Published in Offshore
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The RORC domestic offshore season sprang to life with a fast and, at times, furious 100 mile race to Le Havre for the coveted Cervantes Trophy. Sam Marsaudon and Géry Trentesaux's MC34 Patton, Courrier Vintage, finished the course in under 10 hours to win IRC Two and was declared the overall winner. Racing under IRC rule, the French team of seven included UNCL President, Marc de Saint Denis and was skippered by Géry Trentesaux.

Géry Trentesaux's MC34 Patton, Courrier Vintage, finished the course in under 10 hours to win IRC Two and was declared the overall winner of the Cervantes Trophy Credit: Peter Mumford-Beken of Cowes Géry Trenteseaux is one of the most experienced helmsmen in the race; he recalled: "We had more wind at the start than we expected and we had our big spinnaker up, which made for a very fast but at times tricky start, but Courrier Vintage loves going downwind in big conditions. I am too old to helm for ten hours, so we were rotating the driving. It was a very fast race and although the wind was down towards the end, we were not concerned as there was still enough to keep the boat going fast. We received a very warm welcome from the yacht club in Le Havre and celebrated with some dinner and of course some French wine and now we are looking forward to next week's North Sea Race."

Andrew Budgen's Volvo 70, Monster Project, took line honours and the IRC Canting Keel class in an astonishing elapsed time of just over 7 hours. Averaging close to 14 knots for the race, Monster Project was out of sight of the rest of the fleet shortly after the start.

Piet Vroon's Ker 46, Tonnerre de Breskens, led the chasing pack out of the Solent with Ker 40, Magnum III, in hot pursuit, as owner Andrew Pearce explains:

"Well, what a race; quite spectacular and exciting in the extreme! The wind direction at the start made for a decision between a two-sail reach or our A3 kite and we went for the latter. With 20 knots at the start and rising it was an exhilarating first leg to clear the Solent. With gust after gust blowing through, it was all very exciting and in one bear-away we hit 20 knots of boat speed. Leaving the Solent, we changed to the Jibtop. As the wind increased, we reefed the main and hoisted the genoa staysail; if the breeze had been another ten degrees lower we would have surfed all the way to Le Havre!"

It was a case of digging deep and rotating the helm and trimmers for maximum input and sailing the best numbers. The wind speed was forecast to drop quite steeply through the late afternoon but it was a fast last leg into the finish, with just a slight softening of the wind strength on final approach. First in class and second overall was a satisfying result; we were beaten by Courrier Vintage and very well deserved it was too."

Magnum III was declared the winner of IRC One with Tonnerre de Breskens second and Edward Broadway's Ker 40, Hooligan VII, taking third.
Runner up in IRC Two was one of the two Figaro II entries from the Artemis Offshore Academy raced two-handed by Sam Matson and Robin Elsey, Artemis 21. RORC Admiral Andrew McIrvine's First 40, La Réponse was third in class.

IRC Four was dominated by French yachts; Noel Racine's JPK 10.10, Foggy Dew, corrected out to win the class with Philippe Auber's JPK 9.60, Tusen Takk II, taking second place, a phenomenal effort as the boat was raced two-handed. Jean-Baptiste Crepin's Sun Fast 3200, Jubilon, was less than a minute behind after time correction, to take third.

19 yachts raced to Le Havre in the Two-Handed class with the entire fleet completing the race. The two pairs of young graduates from the Artemis Offshore Academy took the top two positions. Artemis 21, skippered by Sam Matson and Robin Elsey took the win from Alex Gardner and Dyfig Mon in the second Figaro II, Artemis 43, followed by Philippe Auber's Tusen Takk II in third place.


Momentum Ocean Racing was the only two-handed entry in the Class 40 Division, sailed by Dan Dytch and Emma Creighton, and the duo completed the race in just over nine hours to take the class win. Julian Metherell and Mark Denton's Fortissimo was second, with Brieuc Maisonneuve's AL Bucq, skippered by Stephan Theissing, in third.

"This was the first race of our season and we were delighted with the performance," commented Emma Creighton. "Third boat across the line, first Class 40 and first double-handed boat by hours! Then we turned straight around and after tucking the boat away in Hamble, it was time for a big breakfast and a nap!"

The RORC Season's Points Championship continues with the North Sea Race which starts on Friday May 10th, the 210 mile course taking the fleet from Harwich to Scheveningen.

In IRC Three, the top two boats on corrected time are subject to protests and therefore we await the decision of the Protest Committee before any trophies can be awarded.

Published in RORC
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#VOR - The Volvo Ocean Race team caught up with Ireland's own Damian Foxall on board Sidney Gavignet's MOF 70 yacht Oman Sail with fellow VOR veteran Neal McDonald.

As reported in March on Afloat.ie, Ireland's top offshore sailor - and watch-leader for last year's VOR-winning team Groupama - is part of an international crew that attempted to break the Round Ireland speed record that was unfortunately abandoned due to the harsh wintry conditions.

But Foxall vowed that a repeat attempt is on the cards, and tells the VOR website that his experience on Oman Sail "is exactly what I wanted to do after the Volvo. I just wanted to sail with a smaller team of friends, racing with a good crew."

He added: "Sidney, Neal and I have been sailing and working a lot together. It’s a very natural thing and it’s a pleasure.”

Foxall also sings the praises of the MOD 70 one design, heralding the future of the Volvo Ocean Race and the new VOR 65 yacht.

"It’s light in terms of logistics and repairs. On the water too, I’m looking forward to enjoy the best of the One Design sailing – the battle on the water and not in the boatyard."

Published in Volvo Ocean Race
Page 25 of 33

The Half Ton Class was created by the Offshore Racing Council for boats within the racing band not exceeding 22'-0". The ORC decided that the rule should "....permit the development of seaworthy offshore racing yachts...The Council will endeavour to protect the majority of the existing IOR fleet from rapid obsolescence caused by ....developments which produce increased performance without corresponding changes in ratings..."

When first introduced the IOR rule was perfectly adequate for rating boats in existence at that time. However yacht designers naturally examined the rule to seize upon any advantage they could find, the most noticeable of which has been a reduction in displacement and a return to fractional rigs.

After 1993, when the IOR Mk.III rule reached it termination due to lack of people building new boats, the rule was replaced by the CHS (Channel) Handicap system which in turn developed into the IRC system now used.

The IRC handicap system operates by a secret formula which tries to develop boats which are 'Cruising type' of relatively heavy boats with good internal accommodation. It tends to penalise boats with excessive stability or excessive sail area.

Competitions

The most significant events for the Half Ton Class has been the annual Half Ton Cup which was sailed under the IOR rules until 1993. More recently this has been replaced with the Half Ton Classics Cup. The venue of the event moved from continent to continent with over-representation on French or British ports. In later years the event is held biennially. Initially, it was proposed to hold events in Ireland, Britain and France by rotation. However, it was the Belgians who took the ball and ran with it. The Class is now managed from Belgium. 

At A Glance – Half Ton Classics Cup Winners

  • 2017 – Kinsale – Swuzzlebubble – Phil Plumtree – Farr 1977
  • 2016 – Falmouth – Swuzzlebubble – Greg Peck – Farr 1977
  • 2015 – Nieuwport – Checkmate XV – David Cullen – Humphreys 1985
  • 2014 – St Quay Portrieux – Swuzzlebubble – Peter Morton – Farr 1977
  • 2013 – Boulogne – Checkmate XV – Nigel Biggs – Humphreys 1985
  • 2011 – Cowes – Chimp – Michael Kershaw – Berret 1978
  • 2009 – Nieuwpoort – Général Tapioca – Philippe Pilate – Berret 1978
  • 2007 – Dun Laoghaire – Henri-Lloyd Harmony – Nigel Biggs – Humphreys 1980~
  • 2005 – Dinard – Gingko – Patrick Lobrichon – Mauric 1968
  • 2003 – Nieuwpoort – Général Tapioca – Philippe Pilate – Berret 1978

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