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Offshore Racing

Offshore Racing – Saturday, September 20, 2014
Saturday, September 20, 2014   (Image © Paul Meilhat / SMA)
Moderate conditions prevailed yesterday on the Azores for the start of the second and last leg of the Lorient FRA - Horta POR Solo Regatta. The first leg hat do be abandoned because of an approaching heavy thunderstrom. This Regatta is also part of the French Solo Oceanic Racing Championship, lead by Corentin Horeau FRA.
After 15 hours' racing, the fleet sails closely together in a moderte breeze around 15 kn, with Vincent Biarnès FRA as first leader. The video of the start, the race viewer and the reports.
Offshore Racing – Tuesday, September 16, 2014
Tuesday, September 16, 2014   (Image © Ainhoa Sanchez/Volvo Ocean Race)
The seven teams starting to the Volvo Ocean Race on October 4th sailed a test race from Alicante ESP to the Baleares and back over the past weekend. The fleet was quite balanced in the prevailing 5 - 15 kn breeze with the Danish 'Vestas Wind' of Chris Nicholson NZL as winner just 10 seconds ahead of 'Brunel' with Bouwe Bekking NED ! The report and the video.
Offshore Racing – Tuesday, September 9, 2014
Tuesday, September 9, 2014   
An approaching storm depression North of the Azores prompted the Race Direction to abandon the solo race Loriant-Horta, as the fleet of the 20 solo skippers was on a direct course to the center of the storm. The report.
Offshore Racing – Friday, September 5, 2014
Friday, September 5, 2014   (Image © Christophe Launay)
Armel Le Cleac'h FRA, skipper of the maxi-trimarans 'Banque Populaire' (the former 'Groupama') has been severely hurt at a hand and will be unable to start at the Route du Rhum beginning in early November. Loïck Peyron FRA will be the substitute in this legendary solo transatlantic regatta. The multitalented Peyron is actually engaged by the America's Cup defender 'Oracle - Team USA'. The news, the impressive 74 boats entry list of the Route du Rhum and the event website. Armel Le Cleac'h FRA is now fully concentrating on the preparation of the Vendée Globe 2016 with his new IMOCA Open 60 to be launched soon.
Offshore Racing – Wednesday, September 3, 2014
Wednesday, September 3, 2014   (Image © Thierry Martinez)
Yesterday, Yann Guichard FRA arrived solo at La Trinité FRA on the 140 foot trimaran 'Spindrift 2' - the former 'Banque Populaire' - after a 1'800 miles conveyance ride. This was the first time, the largest racing trimaran had successfully been helmed solo. Guichard plans to participate in the Route du Rhum starting in early November. The cockpit has been redesigned for use by a single-handed sailor, with the commands placed suitably within reach. Meanwhile, the surface area of the sails has been reduced by around 20% and an ingenious autopilot system has been fitted. The trimaran has not been reduced in size, however, and Spindrift 2 remains by far the largest boat taking part in the 10th edition of the most iconic of transatlantic races. The report.
Offshore Racing – Wednesday, August 27, 2014
Wednesday, August 27, 2014   
Yann Guichard FRA and Dona Bertareli SUI with their 140-foot-trimaran 'Spindrift' (the former 'Banque Populaire') have been waiting in New York in vain for an appropriate weather window to attack the North Atlantic record from New York to Cap Lizard. Five days ago, the attempt was cancelled, as the trimaran has to be slighlty modified in view of Yann Guichard's start to the solo race 'Route du Rhum' in the coming November.
Monday evening during the jouney back to France, the trimaran hit a swimming container at a speed of 25 kn, breaking off one of the rudder. A short repair stop on the Azores will be made before sailing back to France.
The report with a video.
Wednesday, August 27, 2014   
This evening at 18.30 hrs CET, Patrick Girod SUI will present his project for the Mini-Transat of next year. With his intensive racing program this year, he has aleady completed the qualification miles for this event. The invitation.
Simon Koster SUI, third of last year's Mini-Transat, will again parcitipate in the next edition of this key event of the Mini 650 class. On September 8th, he will present his new project at the Segler Vereinigung Thalwil / Lake Zurich SUI.
The Simon Koster website.
Offshore Racing – Sunday, August 17, 2014
Sunday, August 17, 2014   (Image © Rick Tomlinson)
Not only the MOD-trimarans 'Musandam - Oman Sail' and the Volvo 65 'Azzam' of the Abu Dhabi Racing Teams with Ian Walker GBR did establish new records, but also the Volvo 65 'SCA' with Samantha Davis GBR, arriving 8 hours after the winning Volvo 65 'Azzam' - set a new record for all-women teams. The Volvo 65 rankings. Last but not least, 'Artemis - Team Endeavour' with Brian Thompson GBR, winning in the IRC-classification, improved the record for yachts up to 60 foot. Still underway are the Class 40s with half of the small fleet already on the abandonement list in the again freshening breeze.
The race viewer and the reports.
Offshore Racing – Saturday, August 16, 2014
Saturday, August 16, 2014   (Image © Yann Riou)
After the arrival of the only multihull in the race - 'Musandam - Oman Sail' with Sydney Gavignet FRA - as winner in a new record time yesterday morning, the first monohull - the Volvo 65 'Azzam - Abu Dhabi Racing' with Ian Walker - crossed the finish line in Cowes GBR after 4 days and 13 hours, a new record for monohulls as well. Ian Walker GBR and his team improved the record of the Volvo 70 'Groupama' by 1 day and 8 hours !. By midnight, 'Tc-6' with Iker Martinez ESP arrived at the finish. The other three Volvo 65s were sailing closely together within 6 miles shortly before the arrival and everything is possible. The results will no doubt be published soon. The reports, the race viewer and the onboard video of the Chinese 'Dongfeng'-Team. By this evening, the first IRC-ranked yachts are expected to terminate the race.
Offshore Racing – Friday, August 15, 2014
Friday, August 15, 2014   (Image © Rick Tomlinson)
Yesterday, Sydney Gavignet and his team on the MOD-70-trimaran 'Musadam - Oman Sail' finished the Round Britain & Irland Race in a new record time after 3 days and 32 minutes, improving the old mark set by the twice-as-large trimaran 'Banque Populaire' by 16 minutes.
The Volvo 65 were still racing this morning. 160 miles before the arrival, 'Azzam' with Ian Walker GBR have a 38 miles' lead on 'Tc-6' with Iker Martinez ESP. The fight for rank 3 is getting close as 'Dongfeng' with Charles Caudrelier FRA is only 16 miles ahead of 'SCA' of Samantha Davies GBR and her all-women team.
The race-viewer and the reports.
Offshore Racing – Thursday, August 14, 2014
Thursday, August 14, 2014   
We reported yesterday morning on the overall Mini Protos win of Giancarlo Pedote ITA, and during Wednesday, the decision regarding the Mini Series winner went in favor of the leg 1 winner Jonas Geerkens BEL. Admittedly, it was Tanguy de Turquais FRA who was first back at Les Sables, but Gerckens BEL saved as 3rd-arrived 2 hours of the advantage and celebrates his first important international victory. Up to now, 6 of the 22 Series Minis have crossed the finish line.
The ranking list, the race viewer and the reports.
Thursday, August 14, 2014   
The MOD70-trimaran 'Musadan - Oman Sail' rounded Ireland yesterday in ideal conditions and is now approaching the finish line in Cowes with 140 miles to go this morning. To beat the record means for Sydney Gavignet FRA and his team arrival before 12.47 UTC, a realistic objective.
The positions on top of the Volvos 65 seem to be firm. 'Azzam', the team of the Arab Emirates with Ian Walker GBR as skipper, has 480 miles to go to the finish, the Spanish 'Tc6' with Iker Martinez ESP on the second place is 66 miles back. More excitement comes with the ranks 3 to 5. 'SCA', the all-women team of Samantha Davies GBR as 5th has massively reduced the deficit and is now only 1 mile behind 'Alvimedica' with Charlie Enright USA, and 13 miles behind the Chinese 'Dongfeng' with Charles Caudrelier FRA.
The race viewer and the reports.
Offshore Racing – Wednesday, August 13, 2014
Wednesday, August 13, 2014   (Image © Christophe Breschi)
This morning at 5 a.m. UTC, the first two Protos arrived at the Sables, Nicolas Boidevezi FRA as winner of leg 2, and Giancarlo Pedote ITA with his experimental round-bow Mini as overall winner of the regatta. The deficit of Pedote on Boidevezi was 3 hrs 30 min. Today, the first Series Minis will arrive as well. With 62 miles to go this morning, Tanguy de Turquois FRA has a 56 miles lead on the second-ranked Damien Cloarec FRA. Only 3 miles farther back follows Jonas Geerkens BEL, the winner of leg 1. Pushed by a fresh rear wind and speeding at an 11 kn average .... the overall victory is still in possible, if he succeeds to defend the 8 hours' advantage of leg 1 over de Turquois.
The race viewer and the event website.
Wednesday, August 13, 2014   (Image © Rick Tomlinson)
The fresh breeze conditions continue and the Round Britain & Ireland proofs to be a very fast one. The leading MOD70-trimaran 'Oman Sail' with Sydney Gavignet FRA is speeding with a 25 kn average and - provided the wind remains, as it seems - a new multihull record is in sight. The existing record belongs to 'Banque Populaire V', twice as large as the MOD70.
The first monohulls are the Volvo-65s with 'Azzam' of Ian Walker GBR and his Arab team as leader. Iker Martinez ESP on 'Tc-6' follows 28 miles behind, closely followed by 'Dongfeng' of Charles Caudrelier FRA.
The race viewer and the daily report.
Wednesday, August 13, 2014   
Five of the six Volvo-65, registered for the Volvo Ocean Race 2014/5 starting in October, are at present sailing at the Round Britain & Ireland Race. Here the reports.
Yesterday, a seventh team has entered: the Danish 'Team Vestas', sponsored by the world's largest wind turbine manufacturer. Chris Nicholson NZL, bringing the experience of two Volvo Races to the project, will be the skipper. The report.
Offshore Racing – Tuesday, August 12, 2014
Tuesday, August 12, 2014   (Image © Rick Tomlinson)
The 28 teams started yesterday off the Isle of Wight in the South of England in a fresh Westerly breeze around 30 kn to the Round Britain & Irland Race. On the modified race course direction East - the rounding is done counter-clock-wise because of the passing storm depression - the monohulls sail on rear wind and reaching legs at average speeds exceeding 20 kn. 'Oman Sail', the only catamaran in the fleet, is rushing at 25 kn and has already a clear advance on the rest of the fleet, and will round the North-most point of Great Britain during this morning already. A fabulous record under three days is not impossible !
A special attention goes to the race of the Volvo 65, competing for the first time in a common fleet and leading inn the monohulls. 'Azzam', the Emirates' team with Ian Walker GBR as skipper leads 4 miles ahead of 'Team Campos' with Iker Martinez ESP. 'Dongfeng' with Charles Caudrelier FRA and 'Alvimedica' with Charlie Enright USA duel 15 miles behind for rank 3. The all-women team 'SCA' with Samantha Davies GBR and Justine Mettraux SUI has already lost some ground with a 60 miles backlog. Five yachts have already abandoned the race due to the very rough conditions, among them Robin Knox Johnson GBR, age 74, with his Open 60.
The race viewer, the reports and the video of the start with impressive highspeed views !
Tuesday, August 12, 2014   (Image © Christophe Breschi)
The Mini fleet is rapidly underway in a fresh rear wind, and the first Protos will cross the finish line at the Sables d'Olonne already this evening. Nicolas Boidevezi FRA is first, and he even extended his lead on Giancarlo Pedote ITA on 35 miles. The Italian, winner of leg 1, is sailing prudently without taking risks in the fresh breeze, to arrive in France as overall winner.
The race is much closer in the Series Minis. Admittedly, Tanguy de Turquais FRA is clearly ahead and with a 64 miles advance on Damien Cloarec FRA on the way to the win leg 2. The excitement comes regarding the overall victory, as the winner of leg 1 Jonas Geerkens BEL as 3rd is already 70 miles back. To win overall, he would have to cross the finish line no later than 8 hours and 3 minutes after de Turquais. The midfleet boats are closely together and position changes are not unlikely.
The race viewer, the daily report (in French) and the event website.