Thursday, December 27, 2007



A letter from outgoing ISAF president Arve Sundheim to members of ISAF Council suggests there is unlikely to be a reconsideration of the Olympic events vote taken in Estoril back in early November.

Click here to download a pdf of the letter:

Sundheim defends the voting procedure and claims that ISAF paid due consideration to the IOC's requirements.

But pressure is building from national authorities to get a revote next May at the ISAF mid-year meeting in Qingdao. Following Yachting Australia's and the Royal Yachting Association's open requests for a revote, Yachting New Zealand is now also looking to do the same, according to a report on Sail World.

Talking of strategy, that is the point that Rod Carr wanted to get across when I spoke to the RYA chief exec earlier today. "We want to see ISAF getting away from 'sticking plaster' politics and taking a more strategic approach to the future of the sport," he said.

"That's why we're doing what we're doing. Even if ISAF said 'match racing is part of our strategy', we might not agree with it but we would at least go along with it, if that was part of a strategy that had been properly thought through."

Carr has had a number of conversations with other national authorities behind the scenes, and is confident that sufficient momentum is building towards a revote next May. Among other nations that are believed to have written to ISAF are Canada, Spain, Austria and Singapore. A few others, like France, have yet to decide whether or not to follow suit.

Meanwhile, the members of the ISAF Athletes Commission are weighing up the possibility of running a questionnaire of all the competitors in the 2008 Olympic class World Championships, most of which are taking place in Australia or New Zealand in the next two months.

If they go ahead with this, it will be interesting to see how Olympic sailors themselves would choose the classes for 2012. We had some indication of that in the SailJuice survey a few weeks ago, although the sample of Olympic sailors was perhaps not sufficient to draw any hard conclusions.

Thursday, December 20, 2007

UBS Match Race Award

It has always been one of the aim of to support upcoming and new talented team, therefore it’s pleasure to let you know that the team from Gian Luca Perris who recently won the match race in Montecarlo has been awarded with the UBS Match Race Award:

Read what Gian Luca wrote us today:

The end of 2007 gave us good news.

Dangerous but Fun Match Race Team had the honor to receive the UBS sailing awards, and I had the chance, as helmsmen, to take it from the Prince Albert (Attached you find a picture of the event. Yes I am really happy).

Once again I like to remind to us all that I practice the best team sport of the world. I share this price with the rest of the team: Francois Brenac (Tactician and main sail trimmer), Philippe Buchart (head sails trimmer) and Romuald Chasseray (bowman) that performed remarkably during the all season.

I personally dedicate this award to my father Michele that, among many other things, transmitted me the passion for the sea and for sailing.

I take the occasion to wish you all a Merry Christmas and a Great New Year.

Gian Luca Perris

Friday, December 07, 2007

Fianl count down for the Dubai Gold Cup

Next week, The Dubai Gold Cup promises to be a great conclusion to the first RC 44 Championship Tour, we will will be onsite and report on a daily base.

The regatta will reassemble eight teams representing eight nations. Both fleet and match races are scheduled. The winner of the Dubai Gold Cup will be the team with the smallest number of points in the combination of fleet and match races.

The three leaders of the RC 44 Championship Tour 2007 (Chris Bake’s Team Aqua with pro sailor Cameron Appleton, Russell Coutts’ Team Omega and Miroslav Reljanovic’s Cro-A-Sail) are comfortably established at the top of the RC 44 Championship Tour. However, the regatta promises to be intense with newcomers ES Bankers Dubai (Patrick De Barros / Dean Barker), Team Ceeref (Igor Lah / James Spithill) and Team Hiroshi - Città di Milano (Armando Giulietti / Sébastien Col).

The Dubai Gold Cup will start on Thursday, with fleet races. A match racing round-robin is scheduled on Friday and Saturday whilst the teams will complete the fleet race on Sunday. A short coastal race will be incorporated in the fleet race ranking. With such an exceptional group of some of the best sailors in the world, united in a great location, the event promises to be fantastic.

The first RC 44 Champion will be crowned on Sunday, December 16. The Class Association is looking forward to concluding a first very successful season and is proud to announce that the 2008 program is already finalised.

The teams involved:

(Name of team, owner, pro sailor)

Team Aqua, Chris Bake / Cameron Appleton
Team ES Bankers Dubai, Patrick De Barros / Dean Barker
Team Ceeref, Igor Lah / James Spithill
Team Organika, Maciej Nawrocki / Mateusz Kusznierewicz
Team Omega, Russell Coutts
Cro-A-Sail, Miroslav Reljanovic / Morten Henrikson
Team Hiroshi - Città di Milano, Armando Giulietti / Sébastien Col
Team Beecom, Isao Mita / Kevin Harrap

Thursday, December 06, 2007

Harken Sydney: Tom Spithill sets early pace


The host clubs Tom Spithill, Nina Curtis, Andy Hudson and Ian McKillop set the early pace today winning all 5 of their matches on Day 1 of the HARKEN International Youth Match Racing Championship. Adrian Short from Sandspit Yacht Club NZL also had a good day with his team winning 4 out of 5 matches in his first appearance at the "HARKEN". But its very early days with 4 teams having sailed only 1 match so far whilst Perths Robert Gibbs and James Williamson NZL had their only match postponed due to a broken main batten. Earlier this year Gibbs won the Cowes Youth Week Match in the UK and is expected to make a strong showing here.

It was no easy run for Spithill though who copped a penalty just 20 secs into match one of the regatta for a tardy dial-up. Trailing by three boatlengths at one stage he closed up the game and forced RSYS Jordan Reece beyond the Committee boat, unloading his penalty on the way back up to the finish line to take the match. In Flight 5, Phil Robertson from RNZYS looked set to take the gun ahead of Spithill but a last minute penalty turned the tables.

Young Ted Hackney from the CYCA incurred a pre-start penalty in Flight 6 but led off the line and was first into the increasing puffs from the left. But RSYS David Chapman managed an overlap at the bottom mark and Hackney was penalised twice more as he rounded too close and it was out with the black flag!

The breeze was light from the East and very shifty early on eventually settling to around 7-10 kts. A light NE'er is expected to build to 15-20 kts tomorrow which should provide some exciting downwind action. Racing finished at 5pm today to allow competitors to join the Sydney 38 fleet for some twilight racing

2007 Harken Youth Match Race Championship

In Europe it's raining and snowing and in the mean time they are racing at the Royal Prince Alfred Yacht Club in warm weather...

The HARKEN is one of the premier events for youth on the International match racing calendar. During its 16 year history The Harken has served as a launch pad for a number of international yachting stars.

The 2007 Harken International Youth Match Racing Championships takes place on the beautiful waters of Pittwater, on Sydney's Northern Beaches, from the 5th to 9th December 2007. The Event will be sailed will be sailed in The Royal Prince Alfred Yacht Club’s fleet of Force 24 performance keelboats.

This year’s event, the 15th running and 10th consecutively with sponsors HARKEN will see twelve teams of four crew (all under 21 years of age) competing: four from New Zealand (2 x RNZYS, 1 x RPNYC, 1 x SYC), two from Perth ( 1 X RFBYC, 1 x RPYC) and six from Sydney (2 x RPAYC, 2 X RSYS, 2 X CYCA).

HARKEN 2007 Entries:
Royal Freshwater Bay Yacht Club: Richard McPharlin, Steve Locke, Jay Halligan, TBA.
Royal New Zealand Yacht Squadron (1): James Williamson, William Tiller, Bradley Farrand, Michael Edmonds.
Royal New Zealand Yacht Squadron (2): Phil Robertson, Garth Ellingham, Max Andrews, Scott Morrison.
Royal Perth Yacht Club: Robert Gibbs, Kinley Fowler, Tom Hobbs, Jeremy Wawn.
Royal Port Nicholson Yacht Club: Josh Junior, Matthew Steven, Adam Middleton, Chris Jones.
Royal Prince Alfred Yacht Club (1): Thomas Spithill, Nina Curtis, Ian McKillop, Andrew Hudson.
Royal Prince Alfred Yacht Club (2): Sam Sexton, Danny Doyle, Carla Sexton, Fran Dargaville.
Royal Sydney Yacht Squadron (1): David Chapman, Tom Scardifield, Anthony Proud, Nick Howe.
Royal Sydney Yacht Squadron (2): Jordan Reece, Michael Reece, Anousha Fluck, Alexandra South.
Cruising Yacht Club of Australia (1): Edward (Ted) Hackney, Kyle Langford, Will Mackenzie, Jono English.
Cruising Yacht Club of Australia (2): Byron White, Jamie Woods, Keiran Searle, Jeremy Wawn.
Sandspit Yacht Club
: Adrian Short, Jed Martin, Reuben Corbett, Matthew Randell.

Wednesday, December 05, 2007

Interview with Russell Coutts about the current cup situation

Image (c) RC44

Today one of the largest Swiss newspapers published an interview with Russell Coutts talking about the cup, here is the entire interview.


1: How realistic do you see the chance that there will be an agreement with Alinghi to run the 33rd Cup as previously planned in 2009
We think it is realistic,
but we need to move quickly. The challengers and ourselves all want to race in Valencia in 2009. But to get started we need certainty, and that’s why it will be important to complete a mutual consent challenge as soon as possible.

2: In case of no agreement this means no challenger series, what would this mean for the sailing sport?
That is up to Alinghi.
We want a multiple challenger event, but as defender they are within their rights to reject a mutual consent challenge. If that happens a two-boat race is inevitable under the rules. It is however not our preference as we want to race a conventional America's Cup in Valencia in 2009, with as many challengers as possible.

3: In this case the cup will be sailed on catamarans? If yes who would benefit of?
We will see when - if - we get there. This would certainly not be good for the challengers.

4: Earlier you been on board of Alinghi, What do you say about the behavior of Ernesto Bertarelli/ Alinghi since he won the cup the second time?
It is not about people but it is about the America's Cup. And we have said clearly what we think is best for the event.

5: Ernesto Bertarelli is described as arrogant rich Swiss, is he compromising the image of Switzerland?
Again, what interests me is the future of the Cup.

6: Some of the sponsors already left the cup. Some of the Alinghi main sponsors are considering to leave due to the conflicts. How big is the financial damage due to the behavior of Alinghi.
It is too early to say but the current situation is certainly not good for our sport.

7: BMW-Oracle and Alinghi are not short on budget, are only suffering the smaller teams due to this conflict?
I think the entire event suffers from the current situation. It's not good for anybody. It's really time to move on and seriously discuss the future of the event.

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Sunday, December 02, 2007

Team Pindar celebrates the World Champion title!

source: and

Ian Williams and his Team Pindar have won the ISAF Match Racing World Championship held in Malaysia. This is the double victory as the Brits took both the World Championship title and World Match Racing Tour 2006/2007 title.
First step was to beat Shosholoza skipper Paolo Cian in the semi-finals what Williams finally managed to do with the result 3-2.
Then Team Pindar defeated in the final four-time World Match Racing Tour Champion Peter Gilmour 3-1. That was an exiting fight till the end.
As Williams admitted he was a bit nervous before the final matches but his team did a great job to calm him down. Not surprising considering the big value of victory.
Now Williams and his victorious team can enjoy the great success!