Posts Tagged ‘Match Racing’
Past Sailor Chick of the Week Stephanie Roble has been busy over the past year, working her way up to the 6th ranked spot in ISAF’s Women’s Match Racing standings and 54th in the Open list in her run to try to conquer the WIMRS; all this as she finished up a multi-year stint helping to run the Chicago Match Racer. She’s an all-around badass, one of very few pro sailor chicks in the game, and this week, she’s sailing with her man Taylor in the St. Thomas International Regatta. Steph gave us a few minutes of her time – you can give her a few minutes of yours by checking out the Epic Racing newsletter and her team’s Facebook Page.
SA: After a season of Grade 1 and 2 match racing, you just rocked up to St. Thomas regatta to sail on a chartered IC-24 boat in a crazy local 1-design class. What made you do that, and what are your expectations?
SR: I came down here for the free rum, some fun in the sun, to get rid of my tan lines and the dance party (just kidding…though that is definitely a bonus). Actually it just so happened that my boyfriend and reigning World Match Racing World Champion, chartered an IC 24 and signed me up to sail with him. It was a great excuse for him to come home to roots and see his family [dad Bill Canfield runs the event -ed]. Taylor’s been doing a lot of coaching and pro crewing and hasn’t really steered since the Monsoon Cup, so he wanted some tiller time – I just wanted to sail! We recruited good friends to join Team Line Honors: Mike Rehe, Matt Clark & Taylor Ladd (see crew positions here). Basically, it’s awesome to sail with good friends, and the regatta and class are major fun on and off the water.
SA: What makes St. Thomas stand out as a racing venue?
SR: Obviously, being in the islands in the middle of winter isn’t bad! It’s 85 degrees everyday and the trade winds are in full force right now. Our forecast for the week is 15-20 knots every day and some possible rain showers. Can you really beat that? Well, St. Thomas does, because in addition to the great sailing, the STYC is just so chill. You come in from the water to a huge beach covered with palm trees, sponsor flags, and a stage for the band right on the water, the breeze blowing right on the club from the topaz water…have I painted the picture yet? All around, a fantastic vibe.
SA: Lots of folks find racing with their significant otherwise difficult, and knowing both of your personalities, it can’t be easy for you two. How do you guys do it? Have any tips for other guys and gals to make it fun, and positive?
SR: It’s definitely a unique situation; people always ask how we make it happen. We’ve sailed 3 US Match Race Championships together, he coached me in match racing and we do a lot of pro sailing together. I’m a very competitive person, so when I’m on a boat or team, I treat every person the same. It’s definitely easy to get more annoyed or sensitive with someone who is that close to you, but it’s important to understand the competitive atmosphere. It’s important to leave whatever happens (good or bad) on the water and when you get back to shore you can go back to normal. It’s also cool learning from your significant other; I ask questions and become a better sailor because of that, it’s definitely a win-win situation. Bottom line is that we both love to have fun and being on the water with our close friends is, well, fun.
SA: You’re America’s top-ranked women’s match racer and 6th in the world, what does that really mean for you? Where do you go with that now that the MR Olympics are gone?
SR: I fell in love with match racing back in college and it was a bonus that it was in the Olympics. I did a short campaign with Maggie Shea and Darby Smith afterwards, and fell even more in love with the fast paced, tactical and athletic game. It’s definitely a bummer that it’s not in the Olympics anymore but that hasn’t stopped me yet! I was also fortunate enough to have a job at Chicago Match Race Center where I could focus on improving as a skipper and crew.
Now we have a professional women’s match race series (WIM Series) that is set up similar to the World Match Race Tour and my team, Epic Racing (follow us on Facebook please!), will sail all 5 Series this year. The WIMRS is a huge step towards developing women’s professional sailing but also giving girls something to look forward to besides the Olympics. As for the ranking, it’s really cool to be ranked so high in the women’s, but as my college coach, Mitch Brindley, always said, rankings only mean so much. We believe we are the top team at every event, and we will continue working our hardest no matter what the ranking says. We are also proud of our work in the open match race events we have done. Training and racing against the guys has been great for our development as a team.
SA: You’re young, super fit, massively competitive and great at marketing yourself; all the things that make a great Olympic competitor. Why didn’t you dive into the Olympic stuff this cycle?
SR: That’s a tough call. I have a lot of friends in the Olympic circuit now and I really admire their drive. I sailed the Nacra 17 a good bit this winter with the US Sailing Team and absolutely loved racing a multihull. But you have to be honest with yourself, and I honestly want to focus 100% on Epic Racing’s match race campaign and developing my skills as a professional sailor. It is not an easy course; how many female pro sailors do you really see out there on any circuit? I also want to prove (to myself and other girls) that this is a path you can take. It can definitely be hard but I love sailing so much and this feel like the right path for me right now. I definitely see the Olympics in my future. I received some great advice lately that it’s important to set specific goals and to make sure you focus only on those goals, otherwise if you have too much going on you will only be overwhelmed and exhausted rather than fresh and competitive at your goals.
SA: Now that 6 of the VOR teams are more or less announced, tell us how you see the SCA team faring against the others? Did you have any interest in being part of the VOR? What happened?
SR: I think the girls are ready to kick ass! They have been working extremely hard and are the only team right now with a lot of training time under their belts. I may be a little biased, but you guys all know its true. SCA has picked the top sailors in the world who are mentally and physically strong and are going to work the hardest to crush the race and the guys. Again, I could definitely see myself being apart of the VOR but it wasn’t the right time. I’m only 24: I have a lot to learn and a lot of time left to set goals like the Olympics and the VOR.
SA: Tell us the format of the STIR IC 24 class racing, and will you send us daily reports?
SR: The racing is going to be Epic!!! There are 16 boats in our class with the top guys from all over the Caribbean. On Friday, we have a distance race to downtown Charlotte Amalie and back to the Club. Saturday & Sunday is all short course W/L bouy racing. Again, the forecast looks fresh the entire time and Team Line Honors is pumped to get on the water. And yes – I will send you daily reports along with color from Bill & Taylor Canfield, and we’ll do our best not to have too much rum before we send them out!
March 27th, 2014 by admin
With the 18Footers TV guys reminding us that ultra-low budget live streaming can still be fun and exciting, the guys from Redhanded TV reminded us that the more expensive stuff in this fast-moving part of the sports media industry can be really excellent with this ‘sizzle reel’ from the 2013 World Match Racing Tour season. Redhanded, Sunset + Vine, and IMG are three of the main players in the new game and between them, they’ll stream hundreds of hours of live sailing around the world in 2014, and we’ll feature the best of it right here on Sailing’s biggest page. To us the Redhanded stuff is the best; who else puts a big ol’ dubstep bass drop and Mr. Clean’s commentary in their highlight reel? Check it out above.
March 8th, 2014 by admin
While Clean sits in an airport somewhere in Indonesia waiting for a connection, day two of qualifying for the World Match Racing Tour finale is underway in more light air in Kuala Terranganu. Watch it all live here, and check the WMRT page for standings and daily news wraps.
November 26th, 2013 by admin
They’re young and full of piss, vinegar, and anarchy, and with yesterday’s release of the ISAF Open Match Race Rankings, they’re now NUMBER ONE!
Yes, folks – with their win at the Chicago Cup, our friends on Taylor Canfield’s USOne match racing team have just leapt over Ian Williams’ GAC Pindar team – the perennial kings of the WMRT – for the world’s top-ranked spot in the sport. Team media man Matt Knighton gives us a beautiful look at their success through his eyes, some excellent music, and the words of bowman Hayden Goodrich. Want more? Hit ‘em up on Facebook. No Facebook? Hop on your dial-up AOL connection and check their site.
August 29th, 2013 by admin
Got a few minutes to screw around on your computer or phone today? Tune in to the Chicago Match Cup quarterfinals live and see how Clean does with a real TV team to back him up. The repechage will finish up by around 11, with quarterfinals beginning shortly before noon. Tight racing, beautiful conditions, ultra-short courses, tens of thousands of fans, and young, knowledgable commentators; what more could you ask for? Be sure to download the Livestream app if you’re not at your computer. Results thus far are here; yesterday’s highlight reel is here. Check out the WMRT TV’s channel for a collection of video clips from the event so far.
August 10th, 2013 by admin
Gavin Brady served up the ultimate smackdown to Adam Minoprio in the qualification rounds of the Chicago Match Cup yesterday; Brady forced Mino to hook the committee boat and the young Kiwi quickly took Luigi Reggio on a nice harbor cruise. Good catch from the WMRT TV folks, and see above for today’s live racing. Lots of Facebook action or just watch the live stream above. Thursday’s highlights are here.
August 8th, 2013 by admin
While Ryan and the St. Mary’s nippers grabbed the Governor’s Cup on the East Coast, Aussie junior match racer Sam Gilmour continued his run to the limelight with a win at the Balboa YC’s Governor’s Cup and a strong finish at the Royal Van’s Kintec Invitational. Here’s his report, with title props to Wilco.
Following our racing at the Chicago Match Race Centre, we traveled to Orange County, California for the Governor’s Cup. Being the oldest youth match racing regatta in the world, the club always puts on a big show for the regatta, so it was an event the team were all really looking forward to. This year saw an impressive lineup of teams at the Balboa YC; it’s definitely one of the most competitive youth regattas in the world.
An unusually strong seabreeze of 15 knot blew on the first day of racing, though we saw the expected local conditions throughout the rest of the regatta; 5-8 knots or so. We knew that our advantage lay in our match race experience and boat handling, so we concentrated on taking on a race-by-race approach to the sailing. With 5 days of racing on tap, the regatta progresses fairly slowly; ensuring your heads are in the game is essential.
Our record of 16-2 in the round robins was enough to push us through to 2nd for the semifinal, and the ‘first to three’ format pitted us against the Balboa YC’s own team skippered by Ryan Davidson. We were able to win each start, and protect the favored side of the course, advancing to the final with 3 straight wins, and our team benefited with a big boost in confidence for our boat speed and tactics going into the next day. RNZYS edged out AJ Reiter’s team from San Diego Yacht Club, in a semi that went down to the 5th race.
Conditions were light for the finals – just 4-7 knots or so – so we knew boat speed would be crucial. In the first race, we made an unforced error and gave Steele the chance to force a penalty on us, which he promptly did. We took the lead but never enough to clear our penalty, and the Kiwi team jumped to the early lead. Race two saw the opposite occur, and we were able to lead the entire race to take the win. In the third race, we once again took a penalty in the pre-start, but were able to get a large enough lead to eventually wipe it off; another point for Neptune Racing, just one more to go!
With everything on the line, Steele and his team were over the line early, and we easily led them around the course to take the race and the overall win. Meanwhile, Ryan and the BYC team took the all-California petit-final to place 3rd. The week was great fun onshore, and to take the win on the water made it that much sweeter.
Following this, we began our trip up towards Vancouver, with a short stopover in San Francisco to check out some Louis Vuitton Cup action. After a long drive, we arrived at the Royal Vancouver Yacht Club for the Kintec Summer Invitational Match Race.
Our solid performance in SoCal gave us high hopes for the Kintec. We knew that the competition would be at a similar level, with the top 3 teams from California all sailing in Vancouver. A different fleet of boats meant quite a few adjustments to our sailing style- adjustment’s we just didn’t make as well as some of the other teams. While we struggled in the early action, Ryan Davidson and his BYC came out strong, winning all of his races in the round robin. Chris Steele and the RNZYS guys weren’t far off having just one loss. We ended up 5-3, and knew we needed to change some things and improve others as we went into the semi-finals.
Having qualified 4th, we raced Davidson in the semi-final, but it seemed the Californians were always a step ahead of us, and they put us away in two straight races. Our Kiwi pals won their semi-final 2-0 against Royal Van local Ben Mumford. This matched us up against Mumford in our petit final, and only then did we seem to snap together as a team. We won the petit 2 to nil, feeling fast all around the course. In the final, Davidson continued his magical run, always seeming to have something extra despite Steele’s Kiwis sailing very strongly. seemed only then, that we managed to snap together in the boats, winning 2-0, and feeling fast all the time around the race course. The final was close, and both of these well-sailed teams put on an exciting show, but , but Davidson managed to always have something extra and won 3-2.
Our summer tour of the US and Canada was incredible – what a way to spend (our) winter! We met dozens or hundreds of great new people, learnt massive amounts about match racing from a wide variety of great sailors, and figured out what we will need to get to the next level. We truly appreciate all the interest from the Anarchy community, and encourage you to stay in touch with us via our Facebook Page or you can email us here if you’d like to know more, or you’re interested in sponsoring Neptune Racing. We’ll be posting updates from the Aussie and Youth Match Racing Nationals at the end of September. Wish us luck!
August 6th, 2013 by admin
With the competitiveness of San Francisco’s AC matches a resounding joke for the moment (and possibly for the rest of the summer), it’s good to know there will be some extremely close and exciting match racing in front of tens or hundreds of thousands of spectators in a U.S. venue in just a week and change. We are of course talking about the Grade 1 Chicago Match Cup, the only World Match Race Tour event in North America. It all happens at the end of Chicago’s Navy Pier in conjunction with the massively attended Tall Ships Great Lakes Challenge, and OA Chicago Match Race Center’s sexy and sport Tom 28s should not only provide great fun for fans of sailing, but for the random landlubbers as well.
Beginning on the 7th of August we’ll have the live TV for you right here on the front page (with some possible surprise announcers), but we also have a special treat for our Anarchists right NOW: Tons of CMRC, WMRT, and Line Honors swag to give away over the next week as we countdown the days til the start of what may end up as the most exciting match racing in the US this summer!
Our friends at Chicago Match Race Center are giving away:
-Tickets to the Windy City Lounge,
-Chicago Match Cup t-shirts,
-World Match Racing Tour hats and t’s,
-Line Honors hats, belts, and dopp kits,
-CMRC Swag Bags
Winning is as easy as ‘liking’ the CMRC Facebook Page and checking in each morning after 10 AM CST starting tomorrow (this Tuesday) for the “Countdown To The Cup Question Of The Day”. CMRC staff will post a caption contest, trivia, or some other entertaining question about the Chicago Match Cup, and they will pick the winners from the best answers the following morning. With a week to go, there’s dozens of prizes ready to ship; get over to their page now and start clicking.
July 29th, 2013 by admin
We have to admit it: As silly as this spectacle is, we watched every minute of ETNZ hammering around the course at speeds over 40 knots in the second no-compete Louis Vuitton race. They nailed foiling gybe after foiling gybe in picture-perfect conditions, and it all looked quite pretty. It even got interesting for a few minutes, here and there, thanks to some good commentary from Andy Green and guest Murray Jones – interesting almost in spite of everything ACEA has done to hamstring the TV production. You might remember professional announcers, multiple audio channels, onboard video and audio earlier in the cycle – all those things that keep yacht racing – even at 40 knots – interesting enough to watch for an hour.
The organizers may have given up on all that; rather than doing a spectacular job and trying to repair the harm Ruddergate has done to the event, they continue down the road they began when the production team and coverage plan were slashed to pieces more than a year ago. The best coverage of AC racing hasn’t even come from the AC, but from World Series events like Plymouth. Coverage now – in the opening round of the Louis Vuitton Cup – is a shadow of what ACTV teams produced in Plymouth over a year ago. Have they given up entirely?
Or is this just the “B” team – are commentators and camera crews are the economy version, and we’re seeing just a fraction of the audio and onboard we’ll see in a few weeks? It’s hard to say just yet (thanks to the usual non-transparent ACTV plans), but we hope they’re just saving money for the moment; otherwise how would anyone explain the presence of silly Annapolis videographer Tugger Thompson announcing in a TV booth? At least he seems to have reined in the fake baritone voice he’s used in his videos for a decade.
But never mind the announcing package: What we really don’t understand though is this: WHAT THE HELL HAPPENED TO ONBOARD VIDEO AND AUDIO? You know – that shit that keeps sailboat racing at least partially interesting when it turns into a horizon job, or, ya know – when there is just one competitor to watch? We seem to remember an entire audio/video package worth a small fortune that each team’s required to carry during racing. We certainly remember panning onboards and dramatic team audio from the entire ACWS – it was what made an innovative, quality production into something we couldn’t take our eyes from. And we’d like it back, please.
With just a hair over 50,000 views of the first non-race and sparse TV pickups around the world, even the B-team coverage still has to be some of the most expensive per-viewer sports coverage in history. We know it is going to get better (right??), but it seems unnecessary to start at the very bottom.
Share your thoughts about it.
July 10th, 2013 by admin
How can anyone not admire the fuck out of Peter Gilmour? When the Western Aussie ‘yoda’ of match racing retired last year, he had five Cup campaigns to his credit, an AC win with Alinghi, back-to-back World Match Race titles and dozens of event victories, and had helped spread sailing and match racing to entirely new parts of the globe. Even more impressive than his resumé is the job he did as a father: We got a chance to meet 19 year-old Sam Gilmour at last month’s Grade 2 at the CMRC, and the kid is smart, well-spoken, respectful, and mature beyond his years. He’s also a fierce competitor, and may be the only person in the world (along with younger brothers David and Lachy) who can claim membership to the Match Racing Lucky Sperm Club; proud dad Peter spends much of his time drilling and coaching Sam and his team, and unsurprisingly, it works. Here’s Sam’s report from the event along with pics he pulled from the big event gallery, and you can check out a video the groms put together here.
With a current ISAF ranking of 75 things are beginning to come together for our Neptune Racing Team – that’s me, Sam Gilmour (19), along with crew members Adam Negri (19) and Christopher Smith (20). We’ve just completed in our first Grade 2 event, at the CMRC in Chicago, and have taken a huge amount from it.
The Chicago Match Cup Qualifier was the first stop of our summer tour of America. The team was a little unsure of how they would stack up against the competition, with a number of high ranked teams making appearances at the event, and a chance of sailing in the Chicago Match Cup in August (an event on the Alpari World Match Racing Tour).
We are amazed at the level of organisation of sailing in US events, and it seemed that CMRC was just as keen as anywhere else to show this off, using their ‘portable’ yacht club that was taken out on the water to watch racing each day. The ‘windy city’ lived up to its name, and we experienced 3 awesome days of racing in 15-25 knots.
We managed to come out of the qualifying round robin placing third, giving the guys some confidence going forward in the breezy, wavy conditions. It also allowed us to skip through the repechage round which was sailed in an afternoon where the organisers decided it was too windy to use spinnakers- gaining some much needed rest for the final day.
In similarly blowy conditions, the finals commenced on the third and final day of the regatta. We picked local team Val Smith in the quarterfinal, and were able to dispatch them 2-0 to progress into the semi-final. ISAF 6th ranked Will Tiller picked us to sail in the next round. After leading both races, Tiller managed to sail around us. We learnt some interesting points in these races, and definitely know what we need go away to work on. We then went down 2-1 in a close petite final to Nathan Hollerbach, to ultimately place 4th overall, a result that reached our ‘top 4’ goal for the event. Local sailor Don Wilson went on to win the event 3-1 over Will Tiller to cap off a great event.
We now have a few weeks off before heading to the Governor’s Cup in Newport Beach, California- one of the premier youth match racing events in the world, and then to Vancouver for the Kintec Summer Match Cup.
You can find us on Facebook at our page here. We’d love for you to ‘like’ our page and follow our progress, and we enjoy getting questions about match racing and our campaigns from anyone interested in the sport or our campaign. So don’t be a stranger!
You can find full results from the regatta here and thank you to Meredith Block for the photos.
July 8th, 2013 by admin
We’re stoked to see 72′ cats in the America’s Cup not because we are multihull-obsessed; we’ve just spent too many hours watching boring-as-hell monohull match races, 95% of which are over at the start. And when races are over 20 seconds in, at least the big multihulls give us something exciting to watch.
And then there are monohull matches like this one above; the final of the Stena Swedish Match Cup – if all monohull matches were this exciting, the Cup might still be in IACC boats.
Hometown favorite and defending event champ Bjorn Hansen goes down 2-0 to Phil Robertson’s Waka Racing team in a first-to-three final. With tens of thousands of Swedes screaming and cheering from the rocks, Hansen storms back to even it up at 2-2. And even with an ad hoc video coverage setup and an amateur broadcaster on the microphone, the final race doesn’t disappoint. Will the young Kiwi get his first win on the Tour, or will the local star win an unprecedented two in a row?
Watch the whole thing here, or the abbreviated reel above.
July 6th, 2013 by admin
Chicago Match Race Center founder Don Wilson smacked young gun and world 6th-ranked match racer Will Tiller around in the big air finals of the Chicago Match Cup qualifier this weekend; the market trading whiz beat the Red Bull Youth AC skipper 3-1 on the last day of a wet and wild long weekend of racing. And wild it was: Can anyone else in Chicago remember three straight days of 20-30 knot action in the middle of the summer? Longtime SA’er (and past OTW Anarchy commentator) Nate Hollerbach took a hard-fought 3rd beating young Western Australia prodigy Sam Gilmour (yes, THAT Gilmour) for the petit-final; Gilmour had the youngest team in the event, while Hollerbach’s crew featured 63 year-old Melges 20 driver (and dad) Marc Hollerbach.
Since Wilson already had an invitation to the WMRT event in August, Tiller received the bid; the re-match will provide a good story for the thousands of fans expected on the Navy Pier waterfront for the big show.
Wilson’s secret weapon (aside from Sam Rogers’ guns) may have been genetic; Wilson’s Convexity Racing was the only team with any women aboard, and the crew was more than half female: Sally Barkow on tactics, US Women’s Match Race National Champ Jennifer Wilson in the middle, and Steph Roble in the front — kicking ass and taking names despite the brawny conditions for all three days.
Roble is back in action tomorrow in Sweden; we’ll feature live action from all the teams at the WMRT on the front page for the rest of the week. Check the CMRC Facebook page for videos and interviews. Meredith Block photo and a ton more here.
- Tags: Match Racing
July 2nd, 2013 by admin
Grant’s boys on ETNZ continue to keep the pressure up on the America’s Cup defender, and Oracle won’t be happy to see that NZ’s second AC72 has just been delivered from Cookson’s to the Kiwi’s Auckland base. In contrast to the US team, we’re quite happy – every day ETNZ gets on Oracle gets them that much closer to an exciting, close match rather than the Defender walkover that many feared. More details in the AC Anarchy thread.
January 16th, 2013 by admin