Sailing World Weekly - November 21

Close race at the front of the Volvo pack with four boats within 100 miles of one another. Plus, Ellen makes it on T.V. again, BMW ORACLE picks site for it's boat construction, U.S. Women's Match Racing Championship, with news and results from the previous week.

THE FIRST BEAT Volvo Ocean Race: A Horserace Thus Far By Dave Reed It was an all-out struggle for Glen Bourke and his team to get seven entries in this year's Volvo Ocean Race. Were it not for a bit of clever salesmanship to get Disney and Buena Vista Pictures to buy into the race with its Pirates of the Caribbean entry there would have been six. And without the persistent Australian real estate magnate Grant Wharington footing the cost of his shoestring effort, there would have been five. Skeptics may argue, but five still makes a race. Ironically, after the first 24 hours of the start of Leg 1 to Cape Town, that's exactly what the fleet of Volvo Ocean 70s had been reduced to when the Spanish entry Movistar collided with something submerged, severely damaging a daggerboard ,rudder, and the canting keel, and wrecking structural havoc within the boat, and the Pirates of the Caribbean entry Black Pearl found itself in dire straits when the exterior components of the canting-keel system give way, leaving a gaping hole in the bottom boat, compromising the intricate inner workings of the keel's hydraulic system. Both made left turns to Portugal. Four days after arriving in Cascais, Portugal, Cayard revealed details of the damage, stating "bulkhead C, midway from the bow to the mast, has broken. There was shearing of the frame along with compression of the vertical beam. The 'bomber doors' that seal the keel box at the hull, have been ripped off. A bolt that holds the keel pins in has sheared." We asked Cayard to explain in more detail what had happened to keel and he did as best as he could without giving away the closely held design of the system. There are solid carbon fairing plates attached to the keel fin and wedges that allow these plates to follow the radius of the hull as the keel moves. As it's canted, one plate slides into a recess on one side, and the other comes out of its recess ("like garage doors"). Cayard feels that a "nosecone" like part of the system may have come off, followed by one of the wedges, which allowed water pressure (from sailing at 30 knots) to tear off the plates. Without the plates, there's essentially an open box where the rams connect to the keel. The rams pass from the interior of the boat through rubber gaskets. Blow the gaskets or the cover plate of the keel box and you're taking on water. Cayard says new, stronger, replacement parts are being built in England and he's hopeful they'll arrive in time to be flown with the boat on Friday to Cape Town, the finish of Leg One. He's been told the system can be rebuilt in four days, which will allow them to go offshore for a few days and sort things out before the scheduled in-port race. "It kills me to sit here and watch those guys racing in a race that I'm in," he said Friday. "But the positive is we have some more time, and in a way, we always knew The Black Pearl had a lot of things undone before we left, things that we intended to do in Cape Town. This experience has made us rethink some things and now we have the time to make this a much more solid boat for the Southern Ocean." Cayard has done the math with regards to points, which justified flying the boat to Cape Town, and yes, if the Pirates have a turn of luck and others breakdown, which seems likely, then they're still very much in the race. On the other hand, during every mile the other teams sail to Cape Town, they're learning how to squeeze boatspeed from these new designs. Cayard, at the bottom of the learning curve as the race even started, is no further along. Meanwhile, on the racecourse, ABN AMRO One, the Dutch entry led by skipper Mike Sanderson, continues to eat up the miles, having passed through a virtually non-existent Doldrums with ease and picked up the first scoring-gate points. Second to earn points was Ericsson Racing Team, which leapfrogged both ABN AMRO Two and Brasil 1, just before the gate. At this morning's position report, ABN One held an 83-mile lead over Ericsson, and the following three were within 3 miles of each other. Now that's one hell of a horse race, and to follow it, www.volvooceanrace.com THE REST OF THE COURSE Spithill, Prada Teammates Win Melges 24 Worlds Tune-up James Spithill with his Luna Rossa crew of Jonathan and Charlie McKee, Manuel Modena and 11-year-old Mac Agnese are the 2005 Carloan.com Melges 24 King's Day Regatta/Atlantic Coast Champions. The last time that the fleet was visited by Spithill and his very impressive team was Key West Race Week. "It's good to be back in the Melges 24. We have a different charter boat, same owner, yet different boat. We've been doing a little bit of work with Dave Ullman and his guys. It's tough. We wouldn't expect anything less." Top 10 Overall 1.) James Spithill 2.) Dave Ullman 3.) Gabrio Zandona/Giovanni Maspero 4.) Vince Brun/Scott Holmgren 5.) Jamie Lea/Stuart Simpson 6.) Brian Porter 7.) Mark Mansfield/Simon Strauss 8.) Argyle Campbell 9.) Sean Burke 10.) Jeff Ecklund Fore more, and the complete final standings, please click on www.usmelges24.com/news/2004/article/usmcanews304.asp Geronimo Sets Record for Transpacific Passage Four days, 19 hours, 31 minutes, and 37 seconds (subject to ratification) after crossing the start line off Los Angeles, Capgemini and Schneider Electric's maxi trimaran Geronimo has set a new record for the transpacific Los Angeles to Honolulu Challenge . Geronimo and her men now have a hat trick of WSSRC sailing speed records. First it was The Challenge around Australia record for the sydneyaustralia.com trophy, then the Tahiti Nui Challenge record for Sydney to Papeete Tahiti passage and now she has the Los Angeles Honolulu Challenge record for the transpacific 2215 mile passage; a trifecta in six months. After an anxious 24 hours prior to crossing the finish line, the crew onboard Geronimo have succeeded in breaking the previous record of five days, nine hours, 18 minutes and 26 seconds, set in the 1997 Transpac race by Bruno Peyron, by 13 hours. This is the first time this record has been attempted in the northern hemisphere winter and the maxi trimaran averaged 19.17 knots boat speed over the 2215 mile course to be placed as the third fastest WSSRC long range (more than 2000 miles) speed sailing records to date. Among the 11-man crew were Americans Cam Lewis and Larry Rosenfeld. Barkow Wins Women's Match Racing Championship FORT WORTH, Texas (20 November 2005) -- Under trying weather conditions, but with much fanfare, back-to-back ISAF Women's Match Racing World Champion Sally Barkow added another title to her burgeoning 2005 trophy cabinet after being crowned winner of the ISAF Grade 3 U.S. Women's Match Racing Championship in Fort Worth, Texas, USA. It is Barkow's third match racing title in as many months achieved against a high quality line up which included Worlds' runner up Betsy Alison and 2002 World Champion Liz Baylis (USA). The two round robins had been completed on Thursday and with racing abandoned on Friday, abbreviated semi finals (first to two points) and only one consolation round robin were sailed on Saturday morning to decide the title. Under cloudy skies with a south wind at three to five knots, Katy Lovell won the first two matches against Alison to progress to the final, whilst Barkow beat Baylis in three matches. www.ussailing.org/championships/adult/women/uswmrc/ Transat Jacques Vabre 2005 Banque Populaire (the old Bayer Crop-Science launched in 2002) skippered by Pascal Bidegorry (FRA) and Lionel Lemonchois (FRA) crossed the finish line to take victory in the ORMA Multihull 60 class at 1246 local time yesterday after 14 days, 1 hour, 46 minutes and 29 seconds racing at sea at an average boat speed on the direct route of 15.37 knots setting a new record set for the course between Le Havre, France and Salvador, Brazil by over seven hours. Fred Le Peutrec (FRA) and Yann Guichard (FRA) on Gitana 11 came in second at 1550 followed by and Michel Desjoyeaux (FRA) and Hugues Destremau (FRA) on Geant just 27 minutes later. www.jacques-vabre.com/ Sailing World's College Rankings Nov. 15, 2005 COED (prev. rank) 1. Hawaii (2) 2. Brown (12) 3. Georgetown (6) 4. USC (4) 5. Boston College (1) WOMEN (prev. rank) 1. Yale (1) 2. St. Mary's (2) 3. Navy (6) 4. Hawaii (3) 5. Charleston (4) For the complete rankings, www.sailingworld.com/article.jsp?ID=39904&typeID=400&catID=589 Allez Le K (Fifth in the Season Review Series) The French team K-Challenge is either going to be among the best stories of this 32nd America's Cup or one of immense disappointment and regret. Although not among the first teams to register its challenge, K-Challenge was the first new team to be founded with its eyes on this edition of the Cup, launching its campaign whilst the 31st America's Cup season was being raced in the winter of 2002-2003. The team competed in the 2004 and 2005 Louis Vuitton Acts achieving promising results, but is currently searching for a sponsor to secure its funding to continue. americascup.com/en/acmag/features/index.php?idIndex=0&idContent=4876 Looking Back, Looking Forward In 2003, the Farr 395 Tsunami bested a diverse group of boats to win PHRF 3 top honors at Key West Race Week. With the 2006 edition less than two months away, here's an except from our Winner's Debrief with co-owner and helmsman John Aras. How do you guarantee that the boat gets well sailed? One way or the other, we've ended up with older, experienced individuals as crew. They're guys we like hanging around with, having dinner with, and playing with. Through my experience on other big-boat programs over the years, I've sailed with enough guys I knew what we were getting into. In other words, I'm able to secure the right guys for the right positions. We did a lot of work in the beginning of the class with Dave Scott and Andreas Josenhans [of North Sails], and we did a lot of two-boat testing. A lot of the crew we have now were with us then, so everyone knows the boat well. Your average crew age was 47. Do you think it's easier to sail with older, more experienced guys? When I'm inviting people to sail, I try to match personalities for the boat, for the job, so that everyone will get along. Since our guys are older and we've all sailed together so much, we know each other's personalities. By being older, we tend to have our dinners at the house and not hit the party scene as hard. We know that, as a crew, we'll show up on the dock in good operating condition. Did you practice before Key West? We sailed for two days beforehand; that's typically what we do before every big event. For the complete interview, www.sailingworld.com/article.jsp?ID=201587&typeID=402&catID=596&exclude= Volvo Update They say the early bird catches the worm. Well, this is sailing and there are not too many worms and most the birds are in Cape Town's bars, but at 0130GMT ABN AMRO ONE's fat bottom girl plucked the first available points from Leg 1. Mike Sanderson's crew danced around the scoring gate at Fernando de Noronha in first place, claiming the 3.5 points that would send her to the top of the leaderboard, and wiggled her ample transom at all of those who laughed when she trudged through the light airs in Sanxenxo a fortnight ago. This girl really goes to town in the heavy winds and, for the time being at least, she is a dot on the horizon and sitting pretty on the scoring charts. But if you are reading this in your lunch break the chances are Ericsson have already leap-frogged the black boat and returned to the top of the aggregated points table. At the 1000GMT poll, Neal McDonald's crew led the chasing pack to within touching distance of the scoring gate just off the Brazilian coast, and provided they hold their second place while rounding the wayward mark, will claim three points and return to the top. If they can hold on to second for the rest of the leg, they will have a total of 12.5 overall, 3.5 for the In Port race, three for the scoring gate and six for the leg. ABN AMRO ONE, provided things stay the same, will have 11.5 overall as they only took one point from the In Port race in Sanxenxo. For the rest of the story, please visit www.volvooceanrace.com/news/article/2005/november/fatbottomgirl/index.aspx Ellen to be Featured on T.V. Sports Show The Jeep World of Adventure Sports' next episode on November 27 will feature some of the best segments of action and adventure sports events from previous seasons. One of the selected segments is a visit with solo sailing legend Ellen MacArthur aboard the B&Q Trimaran, her multihull boat considered to be one of the fastest and most extreme to traverse the ocean. MacArthur displays her skill and courage against the high seas as she completed a single -handed round-the-world voyage in record-breaking time. For more information, please visit www.WorldofAdventureSports.com A-List Sailors, Film Stars Heading to Malaysia KUALA TERRENGGANU, Malaysia (21 November 2005) -- The reigning two-time ISAF women's world match-racing champion, a bevy of America's Cup sailors and a pair of A-list film stars highlight the inaugural Monsoon Cup, the 50th anniversary event of the Swedish Match Tour, Nov. 29-Dec. 4 in Kuala Terengganu, Malaysia. Women's world champion Sally Barkow, who is also the reigning world champion of the Yngling class, joins a fleet that includes match-racing luminaries such as New Zealanders Dean Barker, Russell Coutts and Chris Dickson, Peter Gilmour of Australia and Sweden's Magnus Holmberg, all current or past America's Cup Class skippers and helmsmen. There are plans to carry the final two days live on the Tour's broadband Internet channel, www.SwedishMatchTour.tv. www.SwedishMatchTour.com BMW ORACLE Racing Enters Construction Phase in Seattle Area BMW ORACLE Racing has a boat-building team in place and is entering final preparation for the construction of its first race boat in the Seattle region of the United States, the team announced. The first of the team's two new race boats for the 32nd America's Cup in 2007 will be built at a purpose-built site in Anacortes, WA. The small town nestled in the San Juan Islands is a hub of maritime industry. The region provides a blend of maritime and aerospace resources. www.bmworacleracing.com 2 on 2 Format for ISAF World Games The ISAF World Games is including team racing for the first time this spring. The format is 2 on 2 and the US SALING Team Racing Committee is hosting a qualifier in St. Petersburg, Fla., the weekend of Feb. 4 to 5, 2006. One team will earn a berth at the ISAF Games in Austria on May 10 to 20 (Silver Panda and Whishbone have already secured spots due to their TR Worlds performance). Thanks to the St. Petersburg Yacht Club and the University of South Florida we have 24 boats and plan for on-the-water umpiring which should make for a fantastic start to any team's season. Due to rotation limitations with supplied boats, entries are capped at 24 teams. We have set an application deadline at Dec. 22 to facilitate travel so work to get your teams together quickly. Florida is only a flight away, housing's provided*, and you only have to find one teammate, team racing has never been easier. For more information: senet.bischoff@lw.com or rdoyle@tbegroup.com