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Posts Tagged ‘doublehanded’

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Jonathan Green from the Jeroboam is back to update y’all with some Newport-Bermuda action from the double-handed fleet. The race starts today.  Here’s a weather analysis, here’s a tracker, and here’s the thread.

The Newport Bermuda Race, the “Mt Monadnock” of sailing, begins tomorrow with the first class going off at 1300. Shorthanded racing is slowly gaining popularity here in the US and this year’s double handed division has 21 boats ready to go, but this is a far cry from the ~30 that applied for entry.

10360552_10202791692451095_5895327350091254888_nWe all know why Dragon won’t be on the line, and skipper Mike “Rail Meat” Hennessey’s in-race forum antics will be miss,  but how and why did all the others drop out? Sure it was only $50 to apply for entry, but we have to assume they all wanted to be there and can’t because they couldn’t get ready in time. More evidence that the first big chunk of any distance race is fought before the starting gun sounds.

It appears the DH division will be split into two classes, as has been done the last several runnings. The first, and slower class will start at 1500 and will be occupied by names we’ve all seen before. Lora Ann and Paladin have been dominating the Long Island Sound short handed scene for the better part of a decade now, the former with at least three Bermuda race DH wins and the latter winning in 2010. But do either of these boats enter Bermuda 1-2, or how about the 2012 Bermuda race winner, Mireille? Nope. Might they be rusty? Probably not, but it’s fun to talk a little smack!

Enter Scott Miller of Resolute and his co-skipper Gust Stringos who each have three Bermuda 1-2s and plenty of Bermuda Races under their belts. Resolute was best in fleet in last year’s 1-2 on combined score and won every other short handed race he entered. The guy’s got momentum and this could well be Resolute’s year.

But there’s plenty of other contenders out there, including Kiva and Alibi, who have plenty of experience on this course and have earned third place showings in 2004 and 2012 respectively. Another entry worth noting is the J111 Eagles Dare, who just rolled off a DH line honors victory at the Block Island race and gave Resolute a run for their money in a couple solo races last summer in Mass & Maine.

The four Class 40s are going to have a hell of time reaching the podium because of their ORR ratings. We all remember 2012 when Gryphon Solo 2 destroyed the DH fleet on elapsed, including all the other Class 40s and still only managed a second place on corrected. No doubt that wasn’t good enough for Joe and he’s planning to do something about it this week, but his biggest challenge might be the rating.

Anyway you slice it, the light air, finesse sailors will have a keen advantage for the first chunk of the race. Best of luck to all.

-Jonathan Green, s/v Jeroboam

 

June 20th, 2014 by admin

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Screen Shot 2014-04-09 at 9.54.04 AMIf you read Sailing Anarchy regularly, then you know that we have a major hard-on for all things related to the French shorthanded offshore racing scene; from the larger than life Vendée Globe to the ultra-extreme Mini Transat to the pinnacle-of-boat-porn-cool maxi trimaran scene to the biggest spectator scene in the sport at the Route du Rhum, we love it all and go out of our way to bring it live to your web browser.

That includes the biennial Transat AG2R which currently sees a fleet of one-design, 33-foot Beneteau Figaro II”s racing doublehanded from Concarneau in Brittany to St. Barth in the Caribbean, some 3,890 miles away. The single most competitive ocean racing fleet on the planet, the Figaro class has put 15 boats on the line for this AG2R with a smattering of former Figaro winners, Vendée Globe vets and even ‘Le Professeur’ himself, Michel Desjoyeaux.

Departing Brittany on Sunday, the fleet navigated a 10.5-mile coastal route before putting to sea and immediately beating into the leading edge of a cold front. Upwind on port tack in big breeze, defending champs Gildas Morvan and Charlie Dalin on Cercle Verte assumed their position at the pointy end of the fleet alongside Mich Desj before suffering a port lower shroud failure and dismasting. The defending champs are safe after cutting the rig away and have motored to Port La Forêt.

Almost in unison, all 14 remaining Figaro’s tacked to starboard on the passage of the front and began reaching south in westerlies which gradually backed to northwest and finally to the prevailing north/ northeast flow. Currently sailing downwind off of Cape Finisterre, this AG2R has seen it’s first major tactical gamble, almost splitting the difference to the east and west of the infamous Finisterre Traffic separation scheme.

Screen Shot 2014-04-09 at 9.53.45 AMThe five inshore (easterly) boats are making out ahead for the time being with Classé MIni standout Gwenolé Gahinet and former MACIF Figaro skipper Paul Meilhat stretching out to a small lead over Made in Midi, co-skippered by former Groupe Bel IMOCA skipper Kito de Pavant who’s surely relieved to make it past Biscay and the separation scheme after being haunted by the region in the last two VG’s. Long-term forecasts show that the fleet will battle light air to reach the mandatory turning mark at La Palma before sailing downwind in the northeast trades to St. Barth. Mich Desj and Corentin Horeau on Bretagne-Credit Mutuel Performance currently lie in 7th, some 15 miles back from the leaders (and far west), while Roland Jourdain and Martin Pope on La Cornouaille are currently in fifth place at the tail end of the leading (easterly) group.

Check the front page and read the official Transat AG2R thread to stay hip to the latest on this under-appreciated and almost unknown race.

Transat AG2R site here, tracker here, standings here, Facebook here.  Photos from Dom Bonobo with more on his FB page.

 

-Ronnie Simpson

April 9th, 2014 by admin

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