Tuesday Morning Digest

Louis Vuitton Cup, U.S. Sailboat Show, Bermuda Gold Cup, Tour de France, Columbus Day Regatta
©sharon Green/oneworld Challenge

Grand Prix Sailor–Tuesday Morning Digest
Oct. 15, 2002

America’s Cup
Moderate winds punctuated by squalls that nudged the 23-knot limit made sailing the final races of Round Robin 1 a challenge for the race committee and the sailors. The plan was to sail five races on Monday–two teams would have to sail twice–and complete the first round robin. Four of the races were sailed, with just the all-Italian battle between Mascalzone Latino and Prada remaining unsailed, but two of the matches were virtually uncontested due to mechanical failures. Le Défi Areva broke its headstay during the first attempt to race against Team Dennis Conner. That race was abandoned, but the French boat, which has yet to record a win, was unable to repair the headstay and make the second start. TDC started alone and sailed the required 15 minutes to earn its fourth point.

Victory Challenge also suffered headsail trouble during its race with Oracle BMW Racing, breaking a halyard. The Swedish team was unable to hoist another genoa and Ellison’s crew sailed off to a 10-minute win.


Earlier in the day, Oracle BMW Racing sailed its much anticipated race against undefeated OneWorld. A furious prestart saw the boats come within inches of each other, but resulted in an even start. OneWorld, which started to leeward, was able to work to windward enough to force Oracle BMW Racing to tack. A left hand shift then gave the Seattle-based team an 20-second advantage at the first mark. OneWorld was able to double that lead on the second windward leg of the two-lap course and hold on for the win, finishing Round Robin 1 as the only undefeated team.

The other completed race saw GBR Challenge finish off a strong second half of the opening round robin by knocking off Mascalzone Latino.

Current provisional standings:


OneWorld Challenge 8 8/0 7*
Alinghi Challenge 8 7/1 7
Oracle BMW Racing 8 5/3 5
GBR Challenge 8 4/4 4
Team Dennis Conner 8 4/4 4
Victory Challenge 8 3/5 3
Prada Challenge 7 3/4 3
Mascalzone Latino 7 1/6 1
Le Défi ARÉVA 8 0/8 0

*OneWorld is being deducted one point from its round robin score for protocol infractions.

Boat Show News
A boat show beset by rain in Annapolis, Md., over the Columbus Day Weekend nonetheless produced strong boat sales for the likes of industry leaders such as Beneteau USA, which introduced two new boats over 40 feet. The U.S. Sailboat Show overall continued to be the biggest sail-only show in the country, and new performance models unveiled there included a couple of neat dinghies, the Fusion 15 and Vanguard’s Nomad 17. Many of the new designs are taking part in Sailing World and Cruising World’s Boat of the Year award testing this week.


The trade association for the sailing industry, Sail America, announced a new all-sailboat show last Friday–the New York Harbor Sail Expo. This boat show, which is the association’s sixth all-sailboat show, will take place Sept. 25 to 28, 2003, across the Hudson River from New York City at Liberty Landing, Jersey City, N.J. The industry association has sought a show location for years that was closer to New York than its January show in Atlantic City. Originally the new show was to replace Atlantic City Sail Expo as an indoor show, but since the new show will be outdoors and with boats in the water, Sail America will continue the southern Jersey show along with its other four shows in Oakland, Chicago, St. Petersburg (Fla.), and Miami.

The fifth International Sailing Industry Summit was also announced. The annual event to promote sailing and the sailing industry returns January 22 to 23 to Geelong, Australia, where the first event was held in 1999. For registration info:

Bermuda Gold Cup
The qualifier for the finals of the Bermuda Gold Cup, a Swedish Match Tour event, wrapped up on Monday with six of the 16 unseeded skipper gaining berths in the finals. Andy Horton and local Glen Astwood of Team Barcardi won their respective groups with 6-1 records. Tucker Thompson finished second in Astwood’s Group 2 with a 6-1 record, losing on the tiebreak. In third in Group 2 was Chris Law, with whom Thompson sailed during Law’s win at the UBS Challenge this summer. In Group 1, Mason Woodworth finished second with a 5-2 record while Peter Bromby made it two Bermudans in the final. He also finished with a 5-2 record. The Bermuda International Women’s Match Racing Championship round robin portion also wrapped up on Monday with local Paula Lewin taking the top seed into the semifinals with a 6-1 record. Marie Bjorling finished second with Lotte Pedersen and Klaartje Zuiderbann third and fourth. The finals take place today, with the top two skippers earning spots in the Gold Cup finals.


Tour de France à la Voile
The organizers of the Tour de France à la Voile have announced that the Mumm 30 will continued to be the one-design of choice for the month-long race around France through 2008. The speedy 30 footer debuted in the Tour de France in 1999 and has been partially credited with the growth of the tour in the last decade. Last summer’s race attracted 40 teams, a record number of entries.

Hobie Mega Championships
The weeklong event, held in Fort Walton Beach, Fla., finished on Friday. During the 7-day regatta a number of North America Championships were contested and the Pan Am Games qualifier in the Hobie 16 class was sailed. At press time results took some digging–Paul and Mary Ann Hess won the Pan Am Games slot–but they should be up in a more accessible form at some point. For now, though, there’s plenty of photos and reports from a crazy week of cat sailing.

The Columbus Day Regatta
Its certainly not the first time that the celebrations surrounding South Florida’s annual Columbus Day Regatta–two short sails and one big party–have gotten out of hand. Unfortunately, it’s not the first time that people have died as a result. However this year’s event, which took place over the weekend, may have been the most tragic to date, according to a report in the Miami Herald. At least two people are dead, one more is missing, and 18 people were arrested for alcohol related violations. According to preliminary reports, it appears that the two deaths involved spectators rather than participants.