Tuesday Digest

Stamm on Storms, Route du Rhum, Key West and Farr 40 Worlds previews

October 29, 2002

“Here in the storms, you can smell the sulfur”

Bernard Stamm is currently in first place in the Around Alone, and is a little over 4,000 miles from Capetown. While in the doldrums he spent some time recording observations about the storms that he and most of Division 1 sailed through last week.

“When we set out from Torbay, the forecast was for muggy, lifeless weather, becoming very calm, before the flotilla would come across a first low-pressure area. Before leaving, I had established the position of this depression, then another one, which was going to be much tougher. For the first one, if I managed to head off from its northerly tip and go round it, I could do so with favorable winds. And that worked out fine. The second low-pressure area, however, was right in our way, because of its size, between two and three thousand kilometers across, there was no way around it, so we just had to face up to it, and make the best of the conditions on offer.


“There was the possibility of heading into the center of the depression and coming out of it in the southwestern quarter, where the wind would already have backed west-northwesterly. The advantage being that close to the center of the low-pressure area, there is less wind, but when you are entering and leaving the depression, you get the full force of the storm. The other huge advantage would be that all the longitudinal degrees heading west to Cape Verde would already be done, and I would pick up the tradewinds with less tailwind than my rivals, so that was an option to consider.

“However, between theory and practice, there is an enormous difference, and going through all that is certainly going to stick with me. I didn’t have any major disasters, if you don’t count the fact that at the height of the storm, the Solent, which was wound up on the roller, began to unroll and balloon upwards. The sail could only unroll at the top, while at the bottom, where the sheets are attached, there was the opposite effect, and it just pulled itself tighter. Without immediate action, there was the risk of everything breaking. At a certain point, there would be a greater area of sail out than is possible in 70 knots of wind, and you risk losing the mast with all the strain and shocks. So I had to head off, running free, with the wind behind me, then roll up, unroll and roll up again several times in a row, so that the tension was balanced and it could be wound up evenly. At that point in time, I was heading off towards Iceland with a 70-knot tailwind.”

Rolex Farr 40 Worlds 2002
Twenty-four teams will line up Nov. 13-16 for the Rolex Farr 40 Worlds off Paradise Island in the Bahamas. The event, run by the Storm Trysail Club, will feature most of the top boats in the class; Jim Richardson’s Barking Mad, fresh from a Big Boat Series win, John Kilroy’s Samba Pa Ti, Philippe Kahn’s Pegasus, and Hasso Plattner’s Morning Glory. As usual, big-name tacticians will be whispering in many of the owner-driver’s ears; Paul Cayard on Pegasus, John Kolius on Owen Krantz’s Joss, Mark Reynolds on Steve Phillips’ Le Renard, John Kostecki on Samba Pa Ti, and Jeff Madrigali on Terry McLaughlin’s Defiant.


Since last year’s Worlds were held immediately following the terrorist attacks on the United States, many may not remember the winner. The regatta, held off Cowes, was won by Team Alinghi, driven by Ernesto Bertarelli, with tactics by Russell Coutts. Due to schedule difficulties, Coutts and Bertarelli will not be defending their championship this year.

Event schedule
November 6-8:Measurement
November 9-10: Bahamian Championship
November 11: Golf Tournament
November 12: Lay Day
November 13-16: World Championship Race Days
The Bahamian Championship will consist of 3-4 races each day. The World Championship will have 2-3 races per day with a total of 9 races.

Rolex Middle Sea Race
The Middle Sea Race is a 607-mile race around Sicily and smaller islands in the Med. Featuring everything from a Volvo 60 to a Farr 40.7. The following is from the event website.


The leader Nautor Challenge (the Volvo 60 AmerSports One) continues to show its racehorse pedigree, enjoying a downwind run towards the bottom mark of the course, the isle of Lampedusa. Passing Favignana, the largest of the Egadi islands, off the western tip of Sicily at 9 p.m. on Monday, she reached Pantelleria at 0800 this morning jibing onto the lay line of Lampedusa in 18 knots of wind from the north.

Behind Nautor Challenge much of the fleet faced a frustrating night off the northern coast of Sicily. Albablu the Farr 40 (USA 40040), Strait Dealer J-125 (MLT1250) and Tonnerre de Breskens the Lutra 52 (NED27) rounded Favignana at about 7:00 a.m. Tuesday and are well on their way to Pantelleria in much the same wind as the leader. This group of yachts still has a chance to catch Nautor Challenge on handicap and will be doing its utmost to take advantage of the favorable conditions currently experienced by the leader.

Route du Rhum
The Route du Rhum, which will begin Nov. 9 for monohulls and Nov. 10 for the multis, will be well worth watching. Run every four years, this Atlantic Ocean singlehanded marathon runs from St. Malo, France to the Western Caribbean Island of Guadeloupe.


In 1998, Primagaz, an Open 60 trimaran sailed by Swiss sailor Laurent Bourgnon completed the course in 12d:8h:41m:6s for the win. In sixteenth place was the then little-known British sailor Ellen MacArthur. To see a who’s who of European offshore singlehanded royalty, check out the list of qualified entrants for the 2002 Route du Rhum. To follow the race, see

**60′ Multihulls **
Banque Covefi : Bertrand de Broc
Banque Populaire : Jean-Louis Roucayrol
Bayer CropScience : Frédéric Le Peutrec
Belgacom : Jean-Luc Nélias
Biscuits La Trinitaine-Team Ethypharm : Marc Guillemot
Bonduelle : Jean Le Cam
Eure & Loir – Lorenove : Francis Joyon
Foncia : Alain Gautier
Fujifilm : Loïck Peyron
Géant : Michel Desjoyeaux
Gitana X : Lionel Lemonchois
Groupama : Franck Cammas
Rexona Men : Yvan Bourgnon
Sergio Tacchini : Karine Fauconnier
Sodebo : Thomas Coville
Sopra Group : Philippe Monnet
TechnoMarine-MatchT : Stève Ravussin
TIM : Giovanni Soldini

**60′ Monohulls **
60° Sud : Didier Munduteguy
Arcelor Dunkerque : Joé Seeten
Atlantica : Patrick Favre
Ciment Saint-Laurent Océan : Georges Leblanc
Dinan Pays d’Entreprises : Frédéric Lescot
Ecover : Mike Golding
ELA : André Jantet
Furtif : Elie Canivenc
Garnier : Patrick de Radiguès
Kingfisher : Ellen MacArthur
L’Héautontimorouménos : Antoine Koch
La Rage de Vivre : Loïc Pochet
Sill : Roland Jourdain
Temenos : Dominique Wavre
Un Univers de Services : Miranda Merron
Ex-UUNET : Mike Birch
Virbac : Jean-Pierre Dick
VMI : Sébastien Josse

Multihulls under 60′
Archipel Guadeloupe : Vincent Beauvarlet
Chaleur Fioul Elan : Didier Levillain
Crêpes Whaou ! : Franck-Yves Escoffier
E-Sat : Pascal Quintin
Groupe France Epargne : Patrick Morvan
Lehning-Lapeyre-Région Guadeloupe : Pierre-Yves Guennec
Vaincre la Mucoviscidose : Hervé Cléris : Anne Caseneuve

Monohulls under 60′
Adecco-Etoile : Horizon Bob Escoffier
Branec III : Roger Langevin
Défi Vendéen : Jean-François Durand
Fantasy Forest : Alain Grinda
Florys : Luc Coquelin
Laiterie de Saint Malo : Clément Surtel
Lightning : Renaud Le Youdec
Mille visages : Hervé Vachée
NC : Etienne Silvarich
Objectif Rhum : Christophe Huchet
Offshore Challenges 1 : Nick Moloney
Passion Entreprendre : Jérôme Thiriez
StorageTek : Régis Guillemot
Syllogic : Conrad Humphreys
Un autre regard : Nicolas Peitrequin
Ville de Dinard : Bruno Reibel

Key West Race Week 2003 Preview
When the autumn weather turns the leaves to flame, sailors have no time for the waiting game. Across North America and around the world, they’re making preparations for Terra Nova Trading Key West, the premier winter regatta.

Among the early entries, which are on pace to see a third consecutive 300+ boat fleet, is Dr. Wolfgang Schaefer of Kiel, Germany, who has blood in his eye. “I am coming back,” said Schaefer, whose Farr 40, Struntje Light, came on strong with first and second-place finishes in the last two races last January to place third in the marquee class. Schaefer has added impressive brainpower to his afterguard: Iain Percy of Britain, the new Star class world champion and 2000 Olympic gold medallist in the Finn class. “We did the European circuit and the European championship in Porto Cervo where we finished second,” Schaefer said, “losing the championship in the last race.”

Struntje Light will try to wrest the title from the three-year grip of Greek banker George Andreadis’ Atalanti XI. The Farr 40s should be on their games following their world championship in the Bahamas in November. Always an outstanding tacticians’ showcase, Key West’s Farr 40 class will feature the likes of Paul Cayard on John Kilroy’s Samba Pa Ti and Andreadis’ Robbie Haines. They’ll be joined by Holland’s Peter De Ridder, the longtime “Mean Machine” campaigner in many classes is making his Farr 40 debut at Key West.

Others coming from abroad include Italy’s 1-2 finishers in September’s Mumm 30 Worlds, Guiseppe Abba’s Alina and Paolo Cristofori’s Printel Wind, and Britain’s Jamie Lea, Rob Smith, and Stuart Rix, currently the top three in the Melges 24 world rankings.

Domestically, a flood of boats will be hitting the Interstate highways east and south. The J/105 class, led by Robert Johnstone’s two-time defending champion, Tern 7, from Charleston, S.C., will need extra parking space for 30 or more trailers.

Invited one-design classes include the 1D35, Farr 40, J/105, J/80, J/29, Mumm 30, Melges 24 and Corsair 28R trimarans. J/120’s and Tartan Ten’s are working to build their numbers to one-design class status this year. The current entry list is available on the event web site. Mike Campbell’s dark blue Victoria 5 is one of three Transpac 52s, along with Roger Sturgeon’s Rosebud and David Janes’s J-Bird III, making their East Coast debut and bent on showing the rest of the world the reason for all the West Coast excitement about the new class.

Britain’s Markus Fiala, who will be racing Tazo, one of the new Farr 36s. Two have been built–Farr International’s President Geoff Stagg owns No. 1–and both are entered. Two more may race at Key West if they’re built in time.

Racing is scheduled Monday through Friday, Jan. 20-24, on four circles off the south shore of the island. Registration is on Sunday, Jan. 19. The regatta is open to entries in PHRF, one-design and IMS classes of 24 to 85 feet LOA. PHRF entries must have a rating of 175 or lower. The entry limit is 350, and the first entry deadline is Dec. 11 at 5 p.m. EST.–Rich Roberts,


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