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Posts Tagged ‘valencia’

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Screen Shot 2015-02-16 at 10.37.34 AM

Oracle Team USA Director of External Affairs and America’s Cup ‘fixer’ Tom Ehman celebrated the five-year anniversary of Dogzilla’s defeat of Alinghi 90 with a long-secret telling of just what happened on the Race Committee boat during the second race of the 2010 Match.  It’s great reading, and a reminder of just how fucked up it is at the very top end of ISAF-derived race management.  The full story – with some interesting comments – is on TFE’s Facebook Page here.

In the past five years I’ve said very little — publicly or privately — about the incident that took place on the RC boat before the start of AC33′s second and final race on Valentines Day 2010, five years ago yesterday. For the best-of-three-race Match, I was designated by Larry Ellison to serve as our “race committee boat representative,” which meant going afloat each race day on the RC boat to observe. Before the first race Alinghi tried to keep me off the boat, but I politely persisted; the internationally- and highly-respected Harold Bennett (Auckland, NZL), who had been agreed by both teams as the independent Principal Race Officer, came to my rescue and insisted that, per the mutually-agreed rules, I was permitted onboard. Not the most fun job, especially to be apart from the rest of our support team watching from other boats or at the team base, but one Larry and Russell both thought important. Turned out to be, especially at the start of Race Two….

surpriseIn addition to Harold, the RC was largely staffed by officials from Alinghi’s yacht club (SNG, Geneva, Switzerland) and led by their Vice Commodore. Race One went off without incident; many of you will recognize the image to the left is a portion of the larger photo of Jimmy Spithill’s famous Race One flying pre-start entry that caught Alinghi flat-footed — seconds after this photo was taken — and resulted in a port-starboard penalty to Alinghi.

Race Day Two dawned light and a bit lumpy. The races were subject to previously-agreed (between the teams) wind and sea limits. We were under postponement for most of the day as the wind was below the limit. Just before the afternoon cutoff time of (if memory serves) 1600, the breeze came up just enough. Accordingly, and properly “H”, as Harold Bennett is known in international sailing circles, tried to get a start sequence underway. However, Alinghi apparently thought the conditions were not favorable to them, so by radio the team ordered the SNG members of the race committee (flag-pullers, timers, etc.) to do whatever they could to stop H from starting the race. Quiet, then quite heated discussions failed to convince Harold to ignore the rules and call racing off for the day, so the SNG personnel went on strike. No joke. They went below and and started having drinks in the cabin of the RC boat.

Not deterred H carried on, and pressed his Spanish boat driver, navigator and communicator into action handling signals on the bow of the RC boat. But he was short one set of hands in the back deck to take down the postponement signal. “Sh*t, f*ck, sh*t, we’ll never get this started,” H famously said. And it was caught on TV tape — yes, I have a copy of the tape — by the on-board television crew. That’s when the GGYC Observer, sitting quietly near H on the upper deck and never one to be shy, suggested he could take down the postponement flag. H shouted (also caught on the TV tape), “Tom, take down that (expletive) postponement flag.” Of course I did, the race got underway just before the 1600 cut-off, and the rest is history. Weeks after the Match it was a pleasant surprise to receive a 4×3 photo of Jimmy’s famous Race One start, signed by Harold and commemorating the Race Two pre-start “strike” and the “scab-labor” that swung into action…



February 16th, 2015 by admin

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10488168_545379252254639_2485521319233481499_nGet your minds out of the gutter: No matter how much it looks like it, that’s not a vagina seeking out its owner!  It’s actually something far more serious, if you believe the Swedish Swedish Oresund blog, which claims the Finnish Next 37 Audi Quattro discovered a lump of epoxy and remnants from a second stuck to their hull when they hauled out at the end of the Valencia ORC Champs.

We were very surprised after lifting the Audi Quattro up. We found a strange object in the bottom of the boat near the rudder. It looked like plastic or epoxy and was attached with glue to the bottom…This is a clear sabotage. This kind of items can not exist in the bottom by accident. Somebody must have put it there!   Also TP 52 Hurakan, the World Champion in 2013, had beed sabotaged in Valencia. Really fair racing in Spain!?!

If accurate, this is some seriously ugly crap.  But we’re awfully curious why they didn’t find it sooner; what serious team doesn’t scrub their bottom each morning?


July 10th, 2014 by admin

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Formerly ESP-65 Desafio Espanol and before that, USA-65 One World, this IACC boat has definitely seen better days.  Unfortunate situation or an allegory for the sorry state of Spanish sailing these days?  Pierre Orphanidis at Vsail has the story, and he took this excellent shot.

May 30th, 2014 by admin

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Turbo Bird - TP52 Phoenix - Pierre Orphanidis Photo - Vsail

Pierre Orphanidis went out to watch and shoot the newest TP52 on her sea trials last weekend; below is some info on the first ‘Turbo TP52″ to race in the 52SuperSeries fleet; go here for loads more pics and a few more bits of info.

Although Phoenix is the first boat to have been designed to the 2015 TP52 rule, she still has to race under the current rule this year. Sail area next year will increase, an additional 5m2 for the mainsail and 10m2. The mainsail in 2014 will remain as is but the spinnaker has already been adapted to the new rule, hence the increase by approxaimtely 75cm of the bowsprits. During these initial trials in Valencia, the Phoenix sailing team uses a set of 2011 and 2012 sails from Azzurra. In fact, her design is an evolution of the Italian one.

The remaining two major modifications Phoenix will undergo next year will be to increase draft by 15cm and get rid of the additional 200kg in the bulb that have been added this year in order to comply with the current rule.


April 2nd, 2014 by admin

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