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  1. Peter Gustafsson
    Aug 17, 2010 @ 21:14


    Ireland grabbed the 2010 Rolex Commodores’ Cup by the throat on the opening day. With two windward-leeward races held in the eastern and central Solent, the three Irish boats won in each of their classes in the first race. In the second race, the team’s otherwise perfect scoreline was only tarnished by their mid-sized boat, David Dwyer’s Mills 39, posting a second. With six days of competition left, the Irish, on 7 points, already hold a huge lead over the defending champions, GBR Red and Hong Kong, tied on 23. Previous experience will not allow the Irish to get carried away just yet.

    The Solent started out grey and miserable today but the sun broke through mid-morning with a 10 knot northwesterly and a strong eastbound tide. For race two the Race Committee moved the race area to just east of the Brambles Bank to minimise the tide and for this the wind had veered into the northeast and built, at times gusting up to 20 knots.

    In this opening day of competition for mainly Corinthian crews, with only one or two professionals allowed on each boat, some cobwebs were being blown out with a number of sail handling errors evident and even a collision during a port-starboard incident in race two between two mid-sized boats – Francois Lognone’s Nutmeg IV in France White and Paul Turner’s Grand Soleil 43 Artemis in GBR Black. The French subsequently admitted their mistake – explaining that they lacked steerage to avoid the incident. While they came out unscathed, unfortunately Artemis was holed and is having to be repaired overnight. Both yachts retired from race two.

    Followers of this event will know that Ireland leading after day one is a regular feature of recent Rolex Commodores’ Cups. The Irish have been favourites going into the last three events, but they have never before made such a strong impression on the event so soon.

    “We are delighted on a shifty day like today to make a start like that; you can’t ask for anything better,” commented Anthony O’Leary owner of the Irish team’s ‘big boat’, the Ker 39, Antix. “This is our third time doing it. I said to the guys yesterday – ‘we have never been as well prepared’.” In the Irish team Antix and Dwyer’s are both well campaigned while the small boat, Robert Davies’ Corby 36, Roxy 6, was launched this year, but already has had much regatta experience. This year Antix for example has won the Irish IRC Nationals in Dublin and their class at the Scottish Series.

    O’Leary, a Rear Commodore of the Royal Ocean Racing Club, says that they have been building up to this regatta all year and after so many strong, but ultimately unsuccessful Irish campaigns previously it would mean a lot to win this year. “But don’t be thinking that after one day of low points racing,” he warns.

    Sailing aboard the Hong Kong mid-sized boat, Blondie IV, Jamie McWilliam was pleased with his team’s opening-day performance; “I’d say we are in the hunt. It is a tough regatta to win, but everyone knows that and that’s what makes it worth coming. It is interesting but it is always the case here, because there is the variation in the courses that you race and in the conditions you get over the week. Trying to get the rig settings correct is impossible by definition so sometimes you are going really well and sometimes you are getting stuffed. Also, the longer boats with lower rating, the more cruiser racer types, they really go in the flat water.”

    For the mid-sized Class 2 boat it ended up being a long day following three general recalls before race two got away successfully on the fourth attempt under the Z-flag.

    France Yellow holds fourth place, largely due to the efforts of their big boat, Bernard Gouy’s Ker 39 Inis Mor which posted a 2-2 today. Their mid-boat is Pen Azen, from Saint-Quay-Portrieux in northern Brittany, and for owner Philippe Delaporte this is his third Rolex Commodores’ Cup, but the first aboard his J/122, that was RORC Yacht of the Year in 2008. Delaporte bemoaned their tactics today. “We had a 5 and 7 – we were not lucky in our choices of side. We have good speed, so the problem is us.”

    This was not an issue of tides – they have big tides in Brittany – but the unstable wind direction. “We didn’t manage that very correctly.”

    Some post-race appraisal will be going on in the South African camp tonight, as after day one they are lying seventh out of ten. Their highest place in race one was that of the small boat, Rick Garratt and David Hudson’s J/109 Inspara, with a 6, and even in race two the team’s results were little better.

    “I thought we were going to do really well, but we had a shocking day,” admitted Andrew Cape, the much-capped Volvo Ocean Race and America’s Cup navigator, who is sailing on the team’s big boat, Philipp Gutsche’s Landmark 43, Windpower. “The 40 footers seem to be staying up with a 43 footer. I thought we were in for a shot after what we saw in Cowes Week.” Cape competed in the first Rolex Commodores’ Cup back in 1992 as part of the winning US team and hopes he can maintain his record. He regularly sails with Gutsche in South Africa. While there was a substantial cross-tide today, Cape believes this wasn’t the issue. “It was the wind that sorted out the winners and losers today, not the tide.”

    The Rolex Commodores’ Cup continues tomorrow with a further two inshore races. The forecast weather is for Force 3-4 from the north west, with more sunshine than today.

    Top Five Teams – Provisional Positions 15/8/10

    Team / Points / Place
    Ireland / 7 / 1
    GBR Red / 23 / 2
    Hong Kong / 23 / 2
    France Yellow /28 /4
    GBR White / 36 / 5


  2. Peter Gustafsson
    Aug 17, 2010 @ 21:14


    Ireland remains the runaway leader after day two of the 2010 Rolex Commodores’ Cup. Those chasing, led by 2008 winners GBR Red, with strong competition for second from France Blue in third and the potent Hong Kong team in fourth, did a good job to minimise the damage inflicted today: the Irish managing to extend the gap over the second-placed team, but only by 2.5 points.

    Conditions were perfect for today’s two races with brilliant sunshine and more breeze – 14-17 knots from the northwest for the first, dropping off to 10-15 for the second. First up was an inshore race around the length and breadth of the eastern Solent, followed by a shorter windward-leeward course set off Hill Head on the mainland shore.

    In the big boat class race one saw a rare corrected time tie between Anthony O’Leary’s Ker 39 Antix (IRL), maintaining her perfect scoreline for the Irish team, and Nicolas Loday and Jean Claude Nicoleau’s Grand Soleil 43 Codiam in France Blue. While Antix remains the boat to beat among the big boats, it was Codiam that scored two bullets today.

    “I think the conditions were ideal for our boat, which is a bit heavy and ideally needs about 15 knots,” commented Nicolas Loday, racing his fourth Rolex Commodores’ Cup, but his first in the Grand Soleil 43. “It is a boat that goes very well with flat water. It is not at all a boat that goes fast in the big waves or the choppy seas you get in the Channel. So today the conditions were perfect for this boat – like yesterday, but yesterday we made wrong tactical decisions. Today we kept close to the other boats and this paid off very well.” click here for full interview (in french)

    Perhaps it was coincidence, but in Class 2 another Grand Soleil 43 shone today with former RORC Commodore Peter Rutter’s Quokka 8 (GBR Red) scoring two bullets ahead of UNCL Commodore Marc de Saint Denis and Géry Trentesaux’s Coup de Coeur (FRA Blue) and Ireland’s, belonging to David Dwyer. Quokka 8 rates at 1.103 under IRC compared to Codiam’s 1.110 as the French boat has a larger sail plan.

    “We didn’t feel on fire yesterday losing one race by 6 seconds and another one by less than a minute,” explained Peter Rutter. “We needed to sit down and think – we did that last night and it’s come out fantastic. We have a different way of trimming the main and we are also making sure that people only stop hiking out when given permission to. So, a bit more dictatorial, but it worked really well and the crew felt really happy.”

    Rutter felt their performance today was to down the change in crew work rather than having the ideal boat for the conditions. “It wasn’t that different from yesterday, a little more wind. We stopped being stupid really.”

    In the flat water and moderate conditions, the smaller higher-rated boats did seem to suffer today. the Class 2 boat from the all-powerful Irish team struggled to post a 4-2. “We are in a 39-foot boat racing against 43-foot boats which rate significantly lower than us – it is very hard for us especially in the medium to upper wind ranges,” commented her tactician, former America’s Cup helmsman Andy Beadsworth. “After the first race we said ‘we sailed well, for sure we could have done some things cleaner and smarter, but we were never going to beat those guys’. That was the reality.”

    In the second race Beadsworth was particularly pleased when his call to go left up the first beat came good, despite dissenters on board. They ended up reaching the weather mark a minute ahead of the competition.

    The South African team is still trying to get out of its own way, lying seventh equal with GBR White after day two. Their mid-sized boat, Mike Bartholomew’s King 40 Tokoloshe has been based in the Solent for two years, but Bartholomew says they have been struggling to get off the line cleanly. “It is essential in this type of racing. The races are being won and lost in the first 30 seconds. We have had four races where we haven’t done that and we are paying the price. It has been very tight racing. We are disappointed we haven’t done better than we have. We know what we are doing wrong and it is a case of trying to correct it.”

    In Class 3 Marc Alperovtich and Jerome Huillard’s A-35 Prime Time won today’s first race for France Yellow, while Robert Davies’ Roxy 6 took the second for the Irish. But once again it was France Blue that came to form with Samuel Prietz’ X-40 Goa claiming second in both today’s races.

    “Yesterday we had some minor difficulties with boat handling,” admitted Prietz, a past Codiam crewman, for whom this is also his fourth Rolex Commodores’ Cup. “We haven’t sailed together since June, so yesterday we didn’t do so well. We missed a couple of opportunities in tactics, also we were not able to point high enough comparing to some other boats – so not really promising. Today we sailed much more relaxed, with a much better mood inside the team.” click here for full interview (in french)

    Tomorrow, the complexion of the Rolex Commodores’ Cup changes with the start at 10.30 BST of the 24-36-hour offshore race. The weather is also expected to take a turn for the worse with the passage of a front tomorrow afternoon. According to meteorologist Mike Broughton, working with the Irish team, this will bring with it 20-plus knot winds, before conditions lighten on Wednesday night, and then fill in again on Thursday. “It means it won’t be a complete lottery. There will be no thermal switch off,” he advises.

    Offshore in waves with a mix of wind conditions, along with the rigours of racing at night, maintaining focus with little or no sleep, perpetually on the rail, after up to 36 hours of racing – will a new group of boats come to the fore? Past experience indicates that the French and British teams have proved strongest in the Rolex Commodores’ Cup two-and-a-half points scoring offshore race. And, if there are stronger gradient winds – will the Irish continue to be the class act? We will not have the final answers to these questions until Wednesday, but by tomorrow night we may some pointers. All yachts will be carrying tracking units with the positions presented at:

    Top Five Teams – Provisional Positions 16/8/10

    Team / Points / Place
    Ireland / 24.5 / 1

    GBR Red / 45 / 2
    France Blue / 51.5 / 3
    Hong Kong / 54 / 4

    France Yellow /59 / 5


  3. Peter Gustafsson
    Aug 17, 2010 @ 21:14


    The 30 strong Rolex Commodores’ Cup fleet shot off east down the Solent this morning with the wind and tide but under a grey rain-filled sky at the start of their high points scoring offshore race. The course for the 10 teams is full of zigzags taking them first out towards Selsey Bill while tonight they will be heading west along the bottom of the Isle of Wight en route for a mark off Poole Harbour. At this point the three classes will race slightly different courses before the run back east tomorrow morning that should see them finishing off a line to the west of Portsmouth Harbour sometime tomorrow afternoon.

    At 17.00 BST Simon Henning’s Alice II, a Farr 45, and the longest, highest rated yacht in the race, was approaching the Owers turning mark, the easternmost on the course, while the chasing pack were spread five to thirty-nautical miles astern of her. It seems likely that Alice II will steal a march on her Class 1 rivals, as her rounding of the Owers should coincide with the tide turning westbound, while those behind will face a further hour or two punching into it. Already Alice II in the GBR White team looks to be leading the big boat class on corrected time.

    The absent Géry Trentesaux, the Frenchman who was instrumental in his country winning the Rolex Commodores’ Cup in 2006 and 2002, would be proud. The First 40, Coup de Coeur, he co-owns with UNCL Commodore Marc de Saint Denis was leading Class 2 on handicap at 17.00 BST as part of the France Blue team. Meanwhile, in Class 3, it was the turn of the Hong Kong team to head the standings, with Christopher Opielok’s Corby 36, Rockall III.

    The latest positions from the racecourse indicate that the Irish team is not only still leading overall in the 2010 Rolex Commodores’ Cup, but they have extended their lead albeit marginally. The 17.00 BST sched showed Anthony O’Leary’s Antix second among the big boats, David Dwyer’s second in the mid-sized fleet and Robert Davies’ Roxy 6 second among the small boats. With these results the Irish team would be on 44.5 points ahead of France Blue and Hong Kong tied in second on 71.5. GBR Red holds fourth on 86.5, followed by France Yellow in fifth.

    In the small boat class, Marc Alperovitch’s A-35 Prime Time in France Yellow was holding fifth. Alperovitch said he had been pleased with their progress. Heading down the eastern Solent they had seen 20 knots but late in the afternoon the wind had dropped to 14 knots – less than forecast. “It has dropped earlier than planned,” he reported. “Normally when the wind drops we should have a clear sky, but that is not the case at all. But maybe there is less pressure.”

    Just ahead of them, the crew on board Jim Macgregor’s Elan 410 Premier Flair, lying seventh on handicap, were contemplating the night ahead and the lumpy conditions this evening heading west with the wind against the tide. “It was quite unpleasant earlier: wet and windy and horrible – good British summertime stuff,” commented crew woman Jody Slater adding that on board they were seeing 16 knots from the southwest. “It is quite pleasant now. The wave action is a little uncomfortable, but apart from that is all right. It has stopped raining, which I am deeply happy about. Tonight hopefully won’t be too unpleasant. It is supposed to be wind against tide. Unfortunately as one of the people taking seasickness pills, I don’t look forward to the beating.”

    Owner Jim Macgregor had not managed to achieve his plan to use his boat’s longer waterline length to shake off the smaller Corby designs. Macgregor, who pilots ships in and out of Poole harbour for a living and is father of the World Match Racing No.1 Lucy, said prior to the start that his crew, including Olympic 470 sailor Ben Saxton, comprised mostly inshore sailors. “Hopefully we’ll stay awake tonight!”

    This morning Simon Shaw, skipper on Michael Williamson’s Summit 40 White Heat, the big boat in GBR Red, walked the course. “At around 5-6pm we get as far east as we are going to go and then it will be a long 12 hour beat all the way to Weymouth for us, around the back of the island. The tide is with us initially and then we are against on the mainland shore just under the Needles, so there will be a lot of tidal strategy in those areas and around Poole.

    “It is going to be a really dark night. It is going to be wet – for us that beat is going to be the focus of the race really and the ability of crews to keep their boats trucking through the evening period. Our boat is a little tweaky so it will be doubly hard for us to keep it on the numbers in that environment.” Shaw reckoned that they might rotate the helm and the main sheet trimmer to ensure they remained alert. They are expecting the wind to veer from the southwest back into the northwest tonight before settling back into the southwest tomorrow.

    This evening as the teams prepare for a sleepless night on the rail, the British crews will be picturing the French teams sitting down below for a lavish dinner. In fact, the British might be getting the better deal. On White Heat they have a casserole to heat up for dinner, which will be eaten from dog bowls. On Prime Time Marc Alperovitch says they will be eating less palatable freeze-dried. “I love it – it reminds me of the Rolex Fastnet!”

    Two yachts have retired to date: Cracklin Rosie (Class 1) and Artemis (Class 2) both from GBR Black.

    The 2010 Rolex Commodores’ Cup Long Offshore Race continues tomorrow, Wednesday, with the yachts expected to finish by the early afternoon. The forecast wind overnight is for 12 – 15 knots from the west and southwest. Tracking and provisional rankings available at:

    Top Five Teams – Provisional Positions after completion of 4 races (Long Offshore not included)

    Team / Points / Place
    Ireland / 24.5 / 1
    GBR Red / 49 / 2
    France Blue / 51.5 / 3
    Hong Kong / 54 / 4
    France Yellow /59 / 5


  4. Ragnar Wisløff
    Aug 18, 2010 @ 13:33

    Ser jo spennende ut. Lenge siden det har vært noen skandinaviske lag med her. Kanskje et om to år? Ser det er en J/109 og en First 35 (karbonriggversjon) med, men ingen av dem har seilt spesielt godt. Til tross for IRC ;-)

    Trackingen RORC benytter er veldig god, mye mer brukervennlig enn de som benyttes av norske arrangører og nettmagasiner. Ingen tull med portnummer og stengte brannmurer, eller Java-versjoner som ikke virker.


  5. Nordh-O.S.T.en
    Aug 18, 2010 @ 16:58

    Var det inte prat om för ngt år sedan att man skulle försöka få till ett svenskt eller skandinaviskt lag? …eller kommer jag ihåg fel?



    • Patrick L
      Aug 18, 2010 @ 19:42

      Det är riktigt. Havskappseglingsförbundet drev ett projekt för att få ett svenskt deltagande. Ett antal träffar hölls med potentiella deltagare men projektet avstannade när det bildades ett svenskt IRC-förbund som ville driva svensk IRC-segling på ett annat sätt än SHF hade gjort och organisationen blev otydlig.


  6. Peter Gustafsson
    Aug 18, 2010 @ 20:59


    Boats have been returning to Cowes Yacht Haven throughout today, 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.

    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 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.” – listen to full interview

    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 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.” – listen to full interview in French – 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


  7. Ragnar Wisløff
    Aug 19, 2010 @ 19:09

    Kuriøst, strandet i april i UK under askeproblemene seilte jeg en dag i The Solent på en J/109, det er samme båt som i Commodores Cup er chartret til RSA-teamet under navnet Inspara (til vanlig Zelda). Heh, liten verden. De ble tre i dagens inshore race.


    • Peter Gustafsson
      Aug 19, 2010 @ 20:43

      Ben & Michael på Zelda är sköna snubbar. Körde båten doublehanded i Round Britain.


      • Ragnar Wisløff
        Aug 19, 2010 @ 21:52

        De solgte båten i våres. Ny eier heter Tor Mclaren, han har et nytt team med halvparten jenter, Ollie Kippen er coach.


  8. Peter Gustafsson
    Aug 19, 2010 @ 20:41


    A grim overcast start and lumpy wind against tide conditions gave way to brilliant sunshine and a summery finish off the Royal Yacht Squadron for the Rolex Trophy Day inshore race at the 2010 Rolex Commodores’ Cup. Today’s one race was held around multiple marks in the central western Solent starting in 18 knot southwesterlies with a wet beat through short chop before the tide turned and the wind dropped gradually through the race, ending at below 10 knots .

    It was another solid day for the Irish team, leaders since the opening day of the regatta last Sunday. Their big boat, Anthony O’Leary’s Ker 39 Antix and their small boat, Robert Davies’ Corby 36 Roxy 6 both won their classes today while David Dwyer’s posted a third. No other team was close to being as consistent today.

    In the small boat class Roxy 6 came out on top partly thanks to a navigation error on the Hong Kong boat, Christopher Opielok’s Corby 36 Rockall III [at the time of going to press this was subject to a protest for redress]. “We were very lucky,” said Roxy 6’s helmsman Andrew Creighton. “Rockall went to a wrong mark and they were ahead of us. With them making that mistake it obviously pushed us into first, although one of the French guys, Goa, came very close to us, but we had them by about 25 seconds.”

    Roxy 6 was only launched in April, but has had an intensive season at regattas throughout the UK and her native Ireland. Designed by Cowes resident John Corby, the 36 footer relished today’s conditions. “The short Solent slap suits this sort of boat,” said Creighton.

    Back at Cowes Yacht Haven, Commodore of the Royal Ocean Racing Club, Andrew McIrvine stepped off the boat he co-owns with Peter Morton in buoyant mood. His Beneteau First 40.7 La Réponse won the mid-sized class today by two and a half minutes on corrected time ahead of past RORC Commodore Peter Rutter’s Quokka 8.

    “We just went fast,” said McIrvine explaining today’s result. “Upwind we go higher and faster than we ought to for this size of boat if you consider it is a cruiser racer. Downwind we go quick too. It is a semi-standard production boat and it does go extremely well.” McIrvine acquired the boat this year from past Rolex Commodores’ Cup winner Géry Trentesaux and has changed the bulb keel back to a fin but kept the go-faster carbon fibre mast.

    “Tactically we didn’t make any mistakes. The crew are fantastic. All the gybe sets worked perfectly. There were no foul-ups on any of the manoeuvres. They are a very well tuned team now,” added McIrvine.

    Second behind Antix, Bernard Gouy’s Inis Mor in France Yellow had their best day yet, making it a Ker 39 1-2 in the big boat class today.

    “Our spinnaker legs were better today with the asymmetric [spinnaker],” stated Laurent Gouy, the owner’s son. “We have some difficulty when it is really downwind and when it is wavy we can compensate to slide downwind a bit better.”

    Behind them in third, the Hong Kong big boat EFG Bank Mandrake posted their best result of the regatta today. “I thought it was superb,” said Nicholas Burns, co-owner with Fred Kinmonth. “I think we sailed as good a race as we could have done. We tacked about 20 times on top of Antix and she still beat us! She is going very fast at the moment, so I think our tactics will change now. We’ll just go for the best position we can and not try and knock the Irish back.”

    As to the regatta generally, Burns said: “Very challenging, superb sailing, all the competition is extremely good and we’re really enjoying it. It is colder than we are used to. We are used to Asian temperatures of 29-33 degrees Celsius. We have lots of warm ski gear on, but it has been really good fun.”

    EFG Bank Mandrake, a Mills 40 design, previously raced at the Rolex Commodores’ Cup in 2006 as an Irish entry under the name Tiamat. She was shipped to the UK from Palma especially for this regatta and will head to Hong Kong afterwards. “It is great fun,” says Burns of the regatta. “It is nice to have a team race with three boats in different classes. It is a really good idea. You feel you are sailing some of the best sailors in the world which is challenging.”

    At the end of play today the Hong Kong team lies second to the runaway Irish, but have been knocked back due to their small boat Rockall III’s mishap, causing her to finish ninth (depending upon the outcome of their protest). From being 30 points astern of the Irish yesterday, the Hong Kong team is currently 40.5 points behind them. However the regatta is far from over with a race around the Isle of Wight coming with a x1.5 points co-efficient tomorrow (Friday) and a double points scoring inshore race to conclude the regatta on Saturday.

    As RORC Commodore Andrew McIrvine puts it, “although the Irish have got away there is still almost half the points to play for. The weighting keeps the whole thing open right to the end of the event. At a lot of regattas by this stage it is signed sealed and delivered. We have still got a long way to go.”

    Conditions for the race around the Isle of Wight look set to be brisk with southwesterly winds gusting up to 25 knots forecast.

    Crews competing at the Rolex Commodores’ Cup will return to offshore mode tomorrow. The Irish will look to consolidate their dominance, whilst those chasing, particularly Hong Kong, will look to take advantage of any errors by the all but impeccably sailed leaders.

    Top Five Teams – Provisional Positions after completion of 6 races

    Team / Points / Place
    Ireland / 47 / 1
    Hong Kong / 87.5 / 2
    France Blue / 96/ 3
    GBR Red / 103 / 4
    France Yellow /110 / 5

    The 2010 Rolex Commodores’ Cup continues tomorrow, Friday, with the Race around the Isle of Wight starting at 10.30 BST from the Royal Yacht Squadron line. The 55-nautical-mile course will be raced the traditional westabout route, taking the fleet out of The Solent via the The Needles at the western extremity and returning through the forts off Portsmouth at the eastern end.


  9. Mats Heidvall
    Aug 19, 2010 @ 21:33

    Mot Commodores cup 2012
    Tre besättningar rekryteras med en teamleeder i varje. Tre båtar kommer fungera som träningsbas. En av båtarna baseras i Cowes, en båt på västkusten och en i Stockholm. Besättningarna kommer att mixas enligt ett rulland schema för att lära och lära ut till varandra. Den Englandsbaserade båten kommer att seglas året runt i höst, vinter, sommar och vårregattorna på The Solent. De Skandinavienbaserade båtarna seglar i alla stora regattor. Syftet är att alla i besättningarna skall skaffa sig så stor erfarenhet som möjligt av tidvatten och vindar där tävlingarna går. Varje deltagare kommer ha ett eget ansvarsområde. Hus skall hyras ca 4-5 min promenad från hamnen och båten kommer ligga färdig när besättningarna kommer för att segla. En lokal gay med stor erfarenhet kommer gå igenom förhållanden för e varje tävling och delta i genomgång efter seglingarna där vi under två år bygger upp vår egen faktabas. Målsättningen är att varje deltagare skall ha minst 75 starter bakom sig när tävlingarna börjar 2012. Vi kommer ha domare, segelmakare, specialister på instrument och rigg knutna till teamet. Båtarna får bara ha ett par proffs under regattan, dessa kommer att väljas ut för att i slutändan komplettera varje båt med just den kompetens som behövs för att få så jämn och hög standard i hela teamet. Det kan innebära olika profil i de olika båtarna. Slutligt val av båttyp beslutas när regelverket presenteras. Nya segel kommer att sys och den löpande riggen bytas ut. Ett TV- team kommer spela in en dokumentär och följa seglingarna under 2 år. Vi kommer bygga upp en egen hemsida med filmer intervjuer från tävling och träning. Juniorer från klubbarna kommer bjudas in till träning och förberedande tävlingar och tidigt få möjligheter att känna på internationell segling och knyta kontakter.
    Allt detta är möjligt. Det saknas bara lite pengar.

    Mats Heidvall


  10. Johan
    Aug 20, 2010 @ 20:36

    En lokal gay med stor erfarenhet kommer gå igenom förhållanden för e varje tävling?


  11. o
    Aug 20, 2010 @ 22:30

    Ja, A Bard ska in i seglarsvängen. Har du inte hört det?


  12. Peter Gustafsson
    Aug 20, 2010 @ 23:21


    Now on 64.5 points to second placed Hong Kong’s 100.5, the Irish team’s position at the Rolex Commodores’ Cup is looking all but unassailable. With just one inshore race to go tomorrow it would now take a major disaster in all three classes for the immaculate Irish to lose their grip of the trophy that has eluded them for so long.

    Today the 29 strong fleet (one down with Paul Turner’s Artemis in GBR Black out of the competition with a damaged keel) sailed anti-clockwise around the Isle of Wight, the results from this 55-nautical-mile carrying a points co-efficient of 1.5x. This was held in southwesterly wind that peaked at around 24 knots as the boats battled their down the western Solent towards the Needles in lumpy wind against tide conditions.

    In the big boat class, Anthony O’Leary’s Ker 39 Antix scored another win, her fourth this week, giving her by far the lowest points score of all the boats at the Rolex Commodores’ Cup. She won on corrected by a minute, once again from her sistership, Bernard Gouy’s Inis Mor racing in France Yellow.

    “The start was very tricky,” commented Dave Lenz, Antix’ tactician and one of the crews two permitted professional sailors. “There was tide, not much breeze and while you weren’t crossing the line on starboard, you wanted the left because of the effective bias there.” Surprisingly only one boat, Inspara (RSA), was swept over the line by the tide and had to re-start.

    Antix did well heading down the western Solent, managing to get into clear air which Lenz says was key. At the Needles the going got very bumpy thanks to the strong wind and tidal situation. “It was quite rough down there – we saw 23-24 knots and some short sharp pretty big waves.” From the Needles the wind dropped to around 17-19 knots, but they were pushing tide which momentarily turned in their favour after they rounded St Catherine’s Point, the southernmost tip of the Isle of Wight, turning foul again as they approached the eastern entrance to the Solent. “I thought it was going to be lower visibility, but it was alright,” concluded Lenz.

    In the medium and small boat classes, it was a good day for France with a win for Géry Trentesaux and Marc de Saint Denis’ First 40 Coup de Coeur for France Blue in the former and Marc Alperovitch and Jerome Huillard’s A-35 Prime Time for France Yellow in the latter.

    Marc de Saint Denis, Commodore of the Union Nationale Course Au Large, said that they spent much of the race match racing their sistership, La Réponse co-owned by Peter Morton and Andrew McIrvine, Saint Denis’ equivalent at the Royal Ocean Racing Club. “In general, it’s him beating us. So today we managed to reverse the situation, – we managed to overtake little by little, especially at the finish where an important tactical decision had to be made between the winds and the tide.”

    The Coup de Coeur crew made their greatest gains on the reach to St Catherine’s Point. “We didn’t make so many mistakes today – it’s not always like this, so we are very happy to be able to ‘count’ this race, a race that was interesting tactically, but also with a stunning landscape, which on the Isle of Wight is really special. The Solent is a splendid place to race, the wind conditions and current are very variable.”

    As to the level of competition this year Saint Denis thinks it is very good, but that now the Irish team is virtually untouchable.

    Among the small boats today’s winner Prime Time made a good start, but suffered on the leg from the Needles to St Catherine’s Point when they did not go in close enough to the Isle of Wight to get out of the tide.

    “At St Cats we weren’t too bad and then we really pushed hard after that,” said helmsman Jérôme Huillard. “And the reach on the way back went quite well and we worked really hard on the boat because we knew it was going to be down to seconds.” In the event the small boat class today saw the closest finish with Prime Time correcting out just 18 seconds ahead of Francois Blossier’s A-35 sistership RealAx, which scored her best result of the regatta. Unusually French boats took the top four spots in the small boat class today.

    “The boat is going fast, not in all conditions but today was okay. On a reach we are not super good, but today we really worked hard,” concluded Huillard.

    South Africa continue to suffer at this regatta, now lying in eighth place overall. Small boat in the team is the J/109 Inspara, skippered by David Hudson. Hudson runs the Race Ahead, an organisation that aims to nurture sailing talent among under privileged youths in South Africa. Aboard for this regatta, his stars in the making are Wandisile Xayimpi and Marlon Jones.

    Helping the Inspara team this regatta is also Mark Sadler, skipper of Team Shosholoza, South
    Africa’s 32nd America’s Cup challenger. “Dave Hudson who has chartered this J/109 asked me to come and help him out. He races Laser SB3s a lot with his guys, but most of them are dinghy sailors. So I’m here just to help them adapt to big boat sailing.”

    Sadler says while he competed at Cowes Week with the team, he hasn’t sailed much in the UK before and today was his first lap of the Isle of Wight. “It was fantastic. Great tourism! This run has been fun.”

    They finished eighth today, and Sadler concedes that they haven’t had the best regatta. He is not used to the Solent, and the boat has had its weak points compared to the competition. “It is okay. We are enjoying it, but I don’t think we can do much better than where we are.”

    Top Five Teams – Provisional Positions after completion of 7 races

    Team / Points / Place
    Ireland / 64,5 / 1
    Hong Kong / 100,5 / 2
    France Blue / 109 / 3
    France Yellow / 126 / 4
    GBR red /128 / 5

    The 2010 Rolex Commodores’ Cup concludes tomorrow, Saturday, with a single inshore race at 10.30 BST. The final prize giving will be held at the Royal Yacht Squadron at 17.00 BST.


  13. Peter Gustafsson
    Aug 23, 2010 @ 20:34

    Lade till ytterligare några bilder från sista racet!


  14. Jack Sparrow
    Aug 24, 2010 @ 05:32

    Vad är en lokal gay? En person som kan mycket segling i England?


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