Grand Prix Sailor is a 13-year-old racing news publication of Sailing World Magazine (http://www.sailingworld.com).
The Swedish-crewed trimaran Nicator crossed the finishing line in Guanabara Bay, Brazil, Friday to take line honors in the SAP Cape to Rio race. Skippered by Klabbe Nylöf, Nicator (nee Lakota)crossed the finish line 12d:23h:47m:54s after starting, shattering the multihull record set in 1993 by the Mayotte 465 Sea Rose, which completed the race in 18d:7h:24m.
Nicator was the pre-race favorite for a record crossing and Nylöf predicted that they could complete the 3400-mile race in just over ten days if the winds were kind. As Steve Fossett’s Lakota, the 60-foot tri set many records which still stand, including Miami-Montego Bay, San Francisco-Hawaii (singlehanded), and San Diego -Puerto Vallarta.
Hasso Plattner’s 81-foot maxi Morning Glory reported this morning at 1000 GMT that they are still 101 miles from Rio. http://www.capetorio.org
After 16 days at sea, Olivier de Kersauson and the crew of the giant trimaran Geronimo are almost through 40 degrees south and are expected to round the Cape of Good Hope (the southern tip of Africa) sometime today. Geronimo is currently 1,000 miles ahead of the pace set by Jules Verne record-holder Orange in 2002.
The following excerpt, from Geronimos website, is a great description of what the crew faces as they zing their way around the world.
“The uniformly gray sky is filled with wispy cloud and betrays the change of weather system and climate. It’s now time to brave the stormy world of the Southern Ocean. Here, the wind and sea never stop moving, with heavy swells following one after the other at up to twenty knots. In this part of the world, the Antarctic Circumpolar Current swirls eastwards like a giant endless ring connecting the Atlantic, Indian and Pacific oceans. There is no continental mass to slow it down. The same applies to the dominant westerly winds, which are strengthened even further by the huge depressions that arise regularly in these latitudes and have such an enormous effect on such immense empty spaces. Average wind speeds here are 50 to 60 knots, gusting up to 80 or 90. Waves breaking at 10 or even 20 meters are commonplace, and can reach 35 meters when high winds add to the swell.”
Meanwhile, Ellen MacArthur and the crew of Kingfisher II are delivering their big cat (the current record-holder Orange, under charter and re-named) from Lorient to the Jules Verne starting line, which extends from Ushant (an island off North west tip of France), to the Lizard (southwest UK). As of this afternoon, the Kingfisher II team expects to start their attempt Tuesday, in advance of a strong low. http://www.teamkingfisher.com
Yachtspersons of the Year
You have until January 31 to nominate your favorite man and/or woman for the U.S. Rolex Yachtsman and Yachtswoman Awards. These awards recognize outstanding on-the-water achievement in the last calendar year. Nominate your favorite at www.ussailing.org/face
C-c-c-c-c-cold Terra Nova Key West Race Week
The final day of racing for Terra Nova Trading Key West Race Week proved to be the most exciting and the most sparsely attended. With wind speeds that topped out at 28 to 30 knots, and temperatures in the 40s, most of the fleet preferred staying at the dock or packing up the boat for the journey home. In several classes, however, the final race was for all the marbles and staying on the dock was not an option.
In Division 4, the 10-boat J/29 class saw a hammer-and-tongs battle between John and Tony Espositos Hustler and John Edwards Rhumb Punch. “We followed Hustler around all day,” said a jubilant Edwards on Friday night. “We beat them in the last quarter mile of the last beat when we saw a little righty and tacked to it. Hustler didnt cover us and we punched their ticket.” The scoring couldnt have been closer, Rhumb Punch topped the class with 14 points, Hustler was second with 14.1.
On the Division 2 course, the Nelson-Marek IMS-50 Idler, owned by George David, and being scored both in IMS and PHRF, had nailed the IMS class win but was trailing the well-sailed 1D-48 Bandolier, owned by Charles Burnett, by 2 points in PHRF 2. Commenting on the fact that 1D48s can be a handful when its breeze-on, Idlers tactician, Ken Read told the Idler crew Friday morning “If they beat us today, theyll deserve the win.” The high winds Friday propelled the Farr 65 Spirit of Juno into first for the day, Idler into second, and the Swan 56 Vanish 2 into third place. Bandoliers fourth-place finish gave the class win to Idler.
The Farr 40 Crocodile Rock, owned by Scott Harris and Alexandra Geremia sailed a great weeks worth of races, but in a fleet as big and competitive as the Farr 40 fleet is, and with a no-throwout clause, nothing is written in stone until the end of the final race. All the Farr 40s sailed Friday, and Croc Rock continued its winning ways, scoring a ninth in the final race and winning the 24-boat class by 19 points.
In PHRF 1, where the sleds and the Transpac 52s played, Rosebud, a TP-52 owned by Roger and Isobel Sturgeon had the class win sewed up before Fridays racing but sailed anyway, and won the race. While the TP-52s were in buoy-racing mode-with 21-foot spinnaker poles rather than the 28-footers used for distance racing-they were still an impressive sight during their first visit to the East Coast. Bill Alcotts Equation (an Alan Andrews-designed 68-footer that could have grabbed third place if theyd sailed), was unable to get off the dock Friday morning because of draft issues, so Renegade, a Santa Cruz 70 sailed the racecourse with only a tiny headsail up to take third for the day and the week in the class.
For the complete results from the coldest Key West Race Week in recent memory, see http://www.premiereracing.com
Melges 24 Big 3 Series
The Melges 24 Class has designated the 2003 Acura SORC-which runs from February 26 to March 2, and is sailed off Miami Beach, Fla.-as the “Miami Melges 24 Championship” and the finale of the class’s¿ “Big 3 Series.” “It’s a busy winter for the Melges 24 class,” says Andy Burdick, vice president of Melges Boats. “The Big 3 Series is followed by the Melges 24 National Championship in Pensacola in mid-March, so you can be sure we’ll have a good showing at the Acura SORC.”
The three-event winter series started out in Jacksonville, Fla., in mid-November with 36 boats lining up for the Kings Day Regatta. Brian Porter, sailing Full Throttle, won the event. The Midwinter Championship, sailed as part of Key West race Week, was won by Blu Moon, helmed by Flavio Favini. For more on the Acura SORC, see http://www.acurasorc.com/
| Courtesy www.vdh.fr|
| Adrien and Jean-Luc Van den Heede get a tow into Hobart.* * *|
Jean-Luc Van den Heede and his 84-foot singlehander Adrien are safe and not so sound in Hobart, Tasmania, following the dismasting VDH suffered on the last third of an east-west, round-the-world record attempt. VDH was at 50° South, 800 miles from land, and 16 days ahead of the current record when the rig came down on January 6. http:// http://www.vdh.fr
Grand Prix Sailor and Grand Prix Sailor–America’s Cup Edition are weekly newsletters compiled by the editors of Sailing World magazine. If you’d like to subscribe, see http://www.sailingworld.com
Contributing Editors: Tony Bessinger ([email protected]), Dave Reed ([email protected]), Stuart Streuli ([email protected]), John Burnham ([email protected])