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Offshore Racing

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 – Wednesday, September 10, 2014
Wednesday, September 10, 2014   
Yesterday evening, Simon Koster SUI presented his new Mini 650 project at Thalwil/Lake Zurich SUI in view of the Mini-Transat 2015. 2013, he finished excellent 3rd in the Series Minis, and now, he switches to the Prototypes. His boat is under construction and will be finished end of November. Designed by the French yachting architect's office Merforte, a.o. designers of Michel Desjoyeaux FRA Open 60, the new Koster Mini has a round bow as the dominating Protos of Giancarlo Pedote ITA ('Prysmian') and Davy Beaudart FRA ('Cultisol'). 50% of the financing has been confirmed. Contacts for sponsoring information are highly welcome. The news.
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 – Monday, September 8, 2014
Monday, September 8, 2014   (Image © Alexis Courcoux)
After a low-wind first day, a North-Easterly breeze filled in yesterday and the 20 solo skippers' fleet is now making good progress on its way from Lorient FRA to Horta/Azores POR in a 15 kn wind. The fleet sailing within 7,8 miles is still very packed, and the leader Xavier Macaire FRA is only 0,1 miles ahead of Vincent Biarnès FRA on 2nd for the moment. There are still over 1'000 miles or 6 days left for Horta.
The race viewer and the reports.
Offshore Racing – Sunday, September 7, 2014
Sunday, September 7, 2014   (Image © DR)
The start to the solo race direction Azores was given yesterday afternoon at Lorient FRA in a light wind. This morning, the 20 participants have already passed the most Western point of Britanny with Gildas Mahé FRA leading the closely packed fleet. At sight, only 0,1 mile behind, follows Thierry Chabagny FRA. Isabelle Joschke FRA /GER, once again the only women in the fleet, follows on rank 7 0.9 miles back.
The race viewer, the reports and the event website with a video of the start.
Offshore Racing – Saturday, September 6, 2014
Saturday, September 6, 2014   (Image © DR)
Today at 15 hrs CET, 30 single-hander skippers will start to the Lorient - Horta Solo Regatta, the last race of the French Bénéteau-Figaro-Circuit, annual championship 2014. The course leads 1150 miles from the French Atlantic Coast to the Azores. The weather forecast promises a difficult first race phase across the Bay of Biscay.
The preview and the event website.
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 – Tuesday, September 2, 2014
Tuesday, September 2, 2014   (Image © Jacques Vapillon)
10 teams participated in the first Diam24 Grand Prix at Port La Forêt FRA. This new trimaran class, launched this year only, is enjoying a major interest since its selection as boat of the 2015 Tour de France à la Voile.
Over the weekend, 5 races were sailed in a 10-15 kn West wind, all won bei the Vendée-Globe winner Vincent Riou FRA. Bernard Stamm SUI follows on rank 2, Loïc Fequet FRA finished 3rd.
The report (in French) with the final rankings.
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.