Wednesday, March 29, 2006

First three months of MATCHRACE.CH and first days off

Hi all
Since 3 months I have been colleting every day some news about match racing and the cup as well as writing about interesting cases on the water.

The entire blog started as curiosity due to a broken hand while skiing, (what a shame for a Swiss guy) and today we have a link on the Challenger Commission web page, Valencia Sailing, Cup in Europe and many others.
By looking at the numbers of our readers, it seems that there is a need for a Match Race Web Portal.
In March the visitors’ number doubled.

At the beginning, the blog had only Swiss readers, today we have readers from the US, Italy, Spain, Germany, Denmark, Singapore, Japan, Dubai, etc.

I also would like to say thank you to a few friends who helped me a lot, such as Andreas, my brother. He set up the page on the URL, Eric Monnin entertained us with his difficult cases which do not appear on any ISAF case or call book, Blumi who wrote from time to time about his experiences in the +39 team and for sure my girlfrind Alessandra who besides my job and sailing supports me with this blog.

In the next few days I will not update the page. I will be busy as race officer at the Laser Europa Cup regatta in Lugano.
We have almost 100 boats already registered and every hour we get more and more incoming faxes and emails.

If you would like to follow the event click the link below: Ticino Sailing Week

Back from the Laser race you will get some news from Rimini where I will join the umpire team for the Blurimini qualification event for the Grade 2 end of May.

End of April I will also have the pleasure to meet some client advisors from a swiss bank to talk with them about sailing, match racing and the cup. The goal is to introduce them in our exciting sport to let them better understand the game of match racing and the cup.

I'm also looking forward to see what will come out from Valencia.
What's all this talking about the new BMW Oracle boat, bowsprit, double keel or forked keel.....let's see. Did Bruce Farr recycle some old drawings from NZL 20?

Stay tuned!


Tuesday, March 28, 2006

Bowsprit for BMW Oracle?

Sourced from

Oracle have got yachting tongues wagging again, this time with what looks like a bowsprit on their new boat USA87.

During their 2003 America’s Cup, the syndicate had the “goose”, widely rumoured to be a removable laser range finder, at the back of their boat.

They raced with it a couple of times but by general consensus it was more a tool of distraction than navigation.

And in the same regatta, the Americans trialled a second, smaller kite above their spinnaker. It had rivals wondering if they’d discovered a massive speed boost or were playing a joke.

And now USA87, which hit the water for the first time this week, has a pole projecting off the bow. The question is whether it’s real or just a ruse to keep the design spies guessing.

Bowsprits are nothing new to the Cup, first appearing on New Zealand’s NZL20 in 1992. It became the boat’s undoing in the Louis Vuitton Cup final when Il Moro di Venezia protested against it and how it was being used. One of Oracle’s designers, New Zealander Bruce Farr, was also involved in that campaign.

A bowsprit allows better positioning of the forestay to maximise use of the jib or genoa sail. It can allow for a lighter spinnaker pole because you are able to run the tack rope through the end of the pole down to the bowsprit which essentially takes some of the pressure off the pole.

Drag is one disadvantage. While bowsprits are not illegal, the Oracle team, headed by New Zealander Chris Dickson, run the risk of having other syndicates questioning their use of it.

Yachting commentator Peter Lester said he was surprised to hear USA87 had a bowsprit but said it was nothing radical.

“It will cause a bit of debate. Will it be a deal breaker? Absolutely not,” Lester said.

Team Luna Rossa launched their first boat ITA86 in Valencia this week.

Emirates Team New Zealand’s new boat NZL84 is also expected in Spain any day.

Nearly all of the 110-strong team are in Valencia, where they will be based for the next five to six months.

Powered By Qumana

Monday, March 27, 2006

Sebastian Cole, first french to win the Marseille International Match Race

Sébastien Col, first Frenchman to win the MIMR

Sébastien Col is the first Frenchman to win the Marseille International Match Race (the previous winners were the American Ed Baird in 2005 and the Pole Karol Jablonski in 2004 and 2003).

It is also the first Grade 1 victory for this team, consisting of Sébastien Col, Téva Plichart, Gilles Favenec and Christophe André. It is also a great win for the K-Challenge America's Cup team that they represent.

Read more about the final races

Saturday, March 25, 2006

Intermediate standing at the Marseille Match Race

Today the wind conditions have not been like the other days. However a few match where sailed and the ranking changed a bit.
Interesting match to be sailed tomorrow will be Presti / Holmberg.

Results of the second round robin :
1. Presti
2. Col
3. Holmberg
4. Cian
5. Neugodnikov
6. Deruelle

Live results, click here

Friday, March 24, 2006

Marseille International Match Race, an unforgettable match between Deruelle and Holmberg

Start of Second Stage Round Robin

The first six from the first Round Robin moved on to a second Round Robin which started at the beginning of this afternoon.  There was only one flight as the wind fell off but it allowed Neugodnikov to beat Col, Deruelle to beat Holmberg and Presti to come in in front of Cian. The rest of the Round Robin should be raced tomorrow...


An unforgettable match between Holmberg and Deruelle

In the first flight of the second stage Round Robin, Peter Holmberg, representing Alinghi and a highly experienced match racer met Dimitri Deruelle, a young match racer just beginning to make a name for himself.


On the starting line, Holmberg showed all his talent by taking a considerable lead – after the first turn round the windward mark, he was 8 boatlengths in front of the Marseillais just as the wind started to drop.  Deruelle managed to reduce the lead on the downwind leg but it was the second windward leg which killed Holmberg off. Deruelle bore off to the right and the wind turning with allowed him to make the mark without jibing.  When Holmberg managed to get back in touch, he was obiged to tack, getting stuck in the "Doldrums" just as Deruelle hit a fresh breeze giving him a lead he kept to the finish.


Deruelle's is the only crew to have beaten Holmberg since the start of the regatta.  The spectators on the water were absolutely thrilled to share in this performance.


Marseille International Match Race

The 6 selected for the second round robin are :

P. Holmberg
P. Presti
D. Deruelle
E. Neugodnikov
P. Cian
S. Col

Bevor going in to the weekend, let's take a look at the Capetown VOR race.
Maybe one day Glen Burke will start to plan some match race with this toys....guess he would get a bit more coverage...

By the way about match racing with big boats:
Next week we will see if BMW Oracle really has a bowsprit.

Peter Holmberg is in the lead in Marseille after the first day

Beautiful weather today in Marseille where the wind was there for the first flights of the 4th MIMR. Between 15 and 20 knots S-SW, with a heavy swell in the morning which fell off slightly in the afternoon.

30 matchs – 10 flights – were raced today. Most of them were extremely close, with the umpires intervening a lot and contact between boats frequent... In other words, sport! But with this quality of crews racing, this was to be expected throughout the 4 days of the regatta.

Today's weather conditions (wind and rough seas) were very demanding on teh teams during manouvres and in tactical terms.

Following in his Alinghi team-mate Ed Baird's footsteps, Peter Holmberg dominated the first day of the Round Robin by winning all his matches.

He is neck in neck with Philippe Presti in the provisional results, but is the only skipper to not have been beaten today. But it's hard to compare when you remember that Staffan Lindberg and Sébastien Col have only raced four matches.

The four French skippers in the regatta did fairly well during today's 10 flights. Philippe Presti is in the lead with 5 points from 7 matchs, closely followed by Dimitri Deruelle who surprised everyone with 4 points from 7 matches. Mathieu Richard got 50% by winning 3 matches out of 6 (just like the Russian Eugeny Neugodnikov) et Sébastien Col started off well with 3 matches out of 4 won.

The Italians Paolo Cian and Matteo Simoncelli have not been faring as well in the beginning of the Round Robin. The former has won 2 matches out of six he has raced, the latter lost all his matches.

At the bottom of the provisional table, we can also find Jes Gram-Hansen (2points / 7 matches) and Staffan Lindberg (1/4).

Tuesday, March 21, 2006

Russell's and Julien's feedback about the RC44 during the Dubai Match Race Challenge

Photo (c) Max Ranchi

Russell's Feedback

The recently completed Dubai Match Race was the first race between RC 44 boats and as such was the first opportunity to see how Andrej Justin's and my creation would perform under hard racing conditions. Without question the boat performed fantastically. It looks great in pictures, sails fast and provided an excellent physical test for the teams. The boats were able to accommodate an umpire and cameraman onboard which simplified the regatta logistics and costs. The umpires did not use their usual follow boat and made their decisions by verbally informing the teams. I must say that I liked the simplicity. We were able to use just one (red) flag which indicated a penalty to those watching the race...........

Russell Coutts

Structural design by AMS.

Julien's view

The very first goal of having two brand new RC 44 competing in Dubai was to promote the class and in this regard, the Dubai Match Race Challenge has been an amazing success.

But on top of that, any sailor interested in high-technologies and design will easily understand the value of having two top level teams pushing the boats to their limits...........

Julien di Biase

Sunday, March 19, 2006

Team De Micheli wins the Act 1 of the Lugano Match Cup

The two weekend match race academy organized by the Circolo Velico lago di Lugano concluded Sunday 19th March with the inaugural Lugano Match Cup, 5 Teams from Switzerland and Italy competed in the first Swiss match race of the season.
A double round robin and a highly intense final between team De Micheli SUI and team Mazzoni ITA where sailed this weekend.
The matches where sailed on the Streamline, 22 feet boats who will be used for the UBS Alinghi Swiss Tour.

Final Results:

1: Sacha De Micheli SUI
2: Fabio Mazzoni ITA
3: Matteo Minetti SUI
4: Jan Van de Kruck SUI
5: Luca Zanardi SUI

The Lugano Match Cup was the first Act of this event, others will follow during the season to give the teams chances to improve there skills for the UBS Alinghi Swiss Tour and prepare them for the match race circuit.
A special thank together with all the volunteers goes to the Zürcher Yacht Club who provied 2 of the 4 boats for this training.

see more pictures of this event

James Spithill and the Luna Rossa Challenge have won the inaugural Brazil Sailing Cup

Source: WMRT

James Spithill has claimed his second career victory on the World Tour with a 3-1 defeat of Thierry Peponnet in the final of the Brazil Sailing Cup. Spithill lost the first race but won the next three to claim the championship.
In the Petite Final, Ben Ainslie beat Gavin Brady 2-0. In the World Tour standings, Peter Gilmour continues to lead with 48 points, but Ainslie’s 3rd in Brazil jumps him up to 2nd overall, 3 points behind Gilmour. Staffan Lindberg, placed 2nd entering the regatta with 37 points, dropped to 3rd overall after failing to score points when he finished 9th in the event.

Friday, March 17, 2006

Coutts win 3:2 against Mascalzone in Dubai

Dubai Match Race

Russell Coutts wins the 1st Dubai Match Race Challenge 3:2 against Mascalzone Latino

Latest news from Julien Di Biase in Dubai

The last day of the event started with strong winds 40 knots, the race committee almost decided to close the event when suddenly the wind dropped to moderate 15-20 knots.
The racing course from Dubai kept his promise, great sailing conditions.

After a 2:2 between Russell and Jess the winner was decided in the last match.
During the pre-start Mascalzone went to close to the beach and hocked up on the sand, just I time Jess came back to the start.

Russell take the left and Jess to the right side, tight duel until the windward mark, where the Mascalzone crew struggled with the spinnaker allowing Russell to take the lead and win the event with 3 matches.

Sort but spectacular event, after a hard day of sailing will follow a long deserved party night in Dubai.

Photo (c)Total Communications, Dubai

Dubai Match Race Challenge News

Dubai Match Race


Three-times America's Cup winning skipper Russell Coutts grabbed a narrow advantage on the opening leg of the Dubai Match Race Challenge this afternoon.

Coutts edged 2-1 ahead after three 20-minute rounds of spectacular, close combat match racing as the two-day event got under way off Dubai International Marine Club this afternoon....

Read more about the Dubai Match Race Challenge

Thursday, March 16, 2006

Brazil Sailing Cup got underway today in light winds

The inaugural Brazil Sailing Cup, Stage 5 of the 2005-’06 World Match Racing Tour, got underway today in light winds that hampered racing.

Two flights for Group A were completed today in racing that didn’t begin until late afternoon. The crews sat on the bay in front of the Yacht Club Angra dos Reis waiting for the wind to fill. Around 1600 the race committee moved the fleet out towards Riberia Bay where a 10-knot northerly helped complete the two flights............

Photos: Angra dos Reis (RJ);BRASIL SAILING CUP;Wander Roberto

Read more in Match Race Events

Wednesday, March 15, 2006

Match Race Teams: Four-time Cupper, Peter Evans joins Alinghi as tactician

(Photo credit: Ivo Rovira/Alinghi)


America’s Cup tactician Peter Evans (NZ) joins the Swiss Defender for the start of the 2006 sailing season.

Evans brings a wealth of experience to Alinghi, with four Cups behind him, three with Team New Zealand (including two wins) and one with the Japanese challenge.
The man grew up in Devonport, Auckland, sailing at his local yacht club in Sabots, Starlings and Lasers earning several National Championships before later moving on to the Olympic 470 class and representing his country for the 1984 and 1988 Olympic Games. By 1992, he had a Match Racing World Championship to his name and in 1997 held the ILC40 World Championship title.....

Read more in the section Match Race Teams

Tuesday, March 14, 2006

Samba do Brasil

Samba do Brasil

Today starts the Brazil Sailing Cup on of the World Match Racing tour events from this season.
The event will be sailed on Swedisch Match 40.
100'000$ total price money including 35'000$ for the winner.
MATCHRACE.CH will keep you up to date on a daily base about this event.

Line up
Ben Ainslie (GBR) Emirates Team New Zealand
Ed Baird (USA) Alinghi
Dean Barker (NZL) Emirates Team New Zealand
Gavin Brady (USA) Beau Geste Sailing Team
Cameron Dunn (NZL) Mascalzone Latino -- Capitalia
Peter Gilmour (AUS) PST
Daniel Glomb (BRA) Brazil Match Race Team
Magnus Holmberg (SWE) Victory Challenge
Staffan Lindberg (FIN) Alandia Sailing Team
Thierry Peponnet (FRA) K-Challenge
James Spithill (AUS) Luna Rossa Challenge
Ian Williams (GBR) Williams Racing Team

Read More about the Brasil Sailing Cup in Match Race Events

Match Race Teams: The Alinghi season starts now

(Photo credit: Alinghi )


A new boat, a new look but the same mission

Alinghi announced the 2006 season plans at a press conference in Lenzerheide, Switzerland on Thursday 9 March. On the podium were Brad Butterworth (NZ), vice-president, skipper and tactician, Jochen Schuemann (DE), sports director and helmsman and Nils Frei (SUI), trimmer........

Read more about Alinghi's season start: Match Race Teams

Monday, March 13, 2006

Results JPMorgan Asset Management Winter Challenge Match Racing Final

Source: RYA
Damien Iehl crowned champion at the JPMorgan Asset Management Winter Challenge Match Racing Final

After a thrilling and close final, the JPMorgan Asset Management Winter Challenge Match Racing Series has come to a close today with Damien Iehl of France taking the championship title.

Read more about the JPMorgan Asset Management Winter Challenge Match Racing Final

1, Damien Iehl, FRA
2, Bjorn Hansen, SWE
3, Mathieu Richard, FRA
4, Ian Williams, GBR
5, Mark Campbell-James, GBR
6, Andrew Cornah, GBR
7, Vincent Biarnes, FRA
8, Johnie Berntsson, SWE
9, Claire Leroy, FRA
10, Mads Ebler, DEN

Match Race Mania Gr 3 in Riva Final results

Last weekend on the lake Grada at the Fraglia Vela Riva was held the Match Mania Gr .3 event.
Interesting match was Paolo Cian (former Mascalzone Skipper) against Flavio Favini actual Mascalzone helmsen.
Due to strong winds on Sunnday the round robin could not been completed.
The final positions are as follows:

Mascalzone Latino Skipper, Flavio Favini, Aolo Cian, Simoncelli, lake garda, Riva, America's Cup

Thursday, March 09, 2006

Match Race Academy Leebow Tack in the prestart

This is one of the nenalties the umpires gave during the semifinal at the Gstaad Ski Yacting this year.
By looking at the picture it's quite a simple case, yellow is subject to rule 13 and 15 if the tack completed.

From a tactical point of view it's more interesting discussing alternatives of yellow.

Read more about this case in the Match Race Academy

Wednesday, March 08, 2006

JPMorgan Asset Management Winter Challenge Match Racing Final

Match racing heavyweights prepare for head to head competition

With seven qualifying events completed, the best talent has been spotlighted and the weeks of waiting are over. This weekend (10-12 March) at Queen Mary Sailing Club, Staines, some of the world's top match racers will square up to compete at the JPMorgan Asset Management Winter Challenge Match Racing Final.

Entry List and ISAF Ranking
Ian Williams, GBR 5
Mathieu Richard, FRA 6
Bjorn Hansen, SWE 13
Mark Campbell James, GBR 16
Johnie Berntsson, SWE 17
Andrew Cornah, GBR 46
Mads Ebler, DEN 47
Vincent Biarnes, FRA 49
Damien Iehl, FRA 74
Claire Leroy, FRA 145

Photo (c) Paul Wyeth Marine Photography

Read more about the JP Morgan Asset Mangement Winter Challenge Match Racing Final

Tuesday, March 07, 2006

Yacht Club de Monaco wins the 7th Ski-Yachting in Gstaad

Yacht Club de Monaco wins 7th Interclub Ski-Yachting by beating Gstaad Yacht Club in the final. Semi-finalists were Royal Yacht Squadron and Yacht Club Cortina d'Ampezzo. Defenders Societe Nautique de Geneve eliminated in the quarter-finals.


Read more about the 7th Gstaad Ski Yachting

Wednesday, March 01, 2006

Match Race Academy on the Course: Starbord boat tacking

New case to be discussed in the Match Race Race Academy, section " On the course".
A situation that happens very often. Yellow boat wants to keep the right side but blue is able to cross behind, one possibility for yellow is to tack in front of blue, but...

What to you think on this case? Tell us your point of view!