Read: 2013 Moth World Championship Form Guide

By Simon Payne:
OK here we go! We confidently reveal the top 10 with the same authority and precision as in (ahem) previous years!

Firstly the venue! Kaneohe Bay Hawaii! It’s on the windward side of the island, but its inside a bay, so its sheltered and therefore flat water. It’s seemingly perfect for Moth sailing with its lovely wind and clear warm water.

However, a note of caution. If you’re not a good tacker then you are going to struggle. We haven’t heard the word “cone” in sailing until this summer but it seems now it’s everywhere. We are told that there is a kind of a cone here too, specifically as it gets shiftier and the oscillations get faster and more extreme towards the windward mark.

Clearly it’s best to tack on the shifts, but if your tacking is so slow that they play the “Chariots of Fire” symphony every time you put the helm down, then it’s going to be a long week.

Still, here we go, our top ten with a little hint of fun…

1. Peter Burling, NZ. Yes he’s on it! Peter is the 2012 49er Olympic silver medalist. He recently cleaned up in the Red Bull Youth AC, and the other week he won the 49er worlds. Young, gifted and just like his Mach2, All Black!

2. Nathan Outteridge, AUS. 2011 World Champion. Will he sail or will he commentate? We assume the former. The 2012 49er gold medalist is back in the Moth class!! If he shouts “Boundary!” and tacks, for goodness sake just get out of the way…

3. Anthony Kotoun, ISV. An outstanding worlds last year marked him out as America’s best. Unflappable, unconventional and highly likely to be unstoppable. Rumored to have found a secret short cut through the reef after last year’s race. Would be a highly popular winner.

4. Josh McKnight, AUS. Current World Champion. Just got on and did it last year as no one said he couldn’t. Fast, fit and mature beyond his years on the racecourse. Big but… No one has defended on foils yet, – could he be the one? Recently been messing about on rafts. Not ideal prep..

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Watch: Highlights Reel From Weta West Coast Champs

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Big Breeze And Rolling Seas Call For Nerves Of Steel On Day One Extreme Sailing Series Act 7

www.extremesailingseries.com

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‘Extreme’ ‘on the edge’ and ‘intense’ was how the fleet of elite Extreme 40 sailors described an action packed opening day of racing at the Extreme Sailing Series™, Act 7 Nice presented by Land Rover. 20 knots of breeze with gusts of 25 knots and rolling two metre seas saw the eight Extreme 40s hurtle around the Bay of Angels with hulls soaring, bows diving and water spraying. The big breeze suited Leigh McMillan’s Omani team The Wave, Muscat who came out in empathetic style, winning four of the eight races to stamp an early authority on the Nice leaderboard. But everyone’s eyes were on the Danish SAP Extreme Sailing Team today, who skilfully managed to bring their Extreme 40 back from the brink of a pitch pole, but suffered race-ending damage in the process.

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Read: Tricky Day One Of Melges 24 World Championship

Event website

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The first day of racing at the Sperry Top-Sider Melges 24 World Championship 2013, hosted by The San Francisco Yacht Club in Belvedere, California delivered three excellent races sailed in bright sunshine and winds ranging from eight to fourteen knots.

All three races had different winners, with American Terry Hutchinson at the helm of Scott Holmgren’s Rose Bud taking the first race, fellow countryman Brian Porter on Full Throttle winning the second and Bermuda’s Alec Cutler on hedgehog victorious in the third.

Consistency was a hard to come by commodity throughout the fleet today and almost all of the top ten boats at the end of the day are counting at least one double digit score.

The exception to that rule was Jeff Madrigali at the helm of Kevin Welch’s American entry Mikey who managed a 7,2,4 score to lead overall tonight. In second with a 13,10,1 scoreline is Alec Cutler on hedgehog. Third by way of three eighth places is Italian Andrea Racchelli on Altea. Leader Madrigali sits on 13 points with Cutler and Racchelli tied on 24 points.

In the Corinthian (no professional sailors allowed) Division – who race with the main fleet but also have their results extracted separately – America’s Loren Colohan on Lounge Act tops the standings with six points after three races. Colohan is tied on points with second placed fellow American, Don Jesberg on Viva. Italy’s Andrea Pardini on Maitech lies in third place. The top three Corinthian’s sit in nineteenth, twentieth and twenty-first in the main fleet with Jesberg leading this trio. 

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Read/Watch: Team Aqua Keeps A Clean Sheet At RC 44 Championship Tour

At the 2013 RC44 Championship Tour in Cascais, in the penultimate round, Portugal kicked off with a day of match racing. Only Team Aqua, helmed by Cameron Appleton, managed to keep a clean sheet on a day where the wind varied from six to fifteen knots and sun, rain and fog all graced the race course.

Katusha has sat at the top of the RC44 match race standings throughout the 2013 season, however their 3-3 score-line in Portugal dropped them back to second, one point ahead of 2012 match race champions, Synergy Russian Sailing Team. The defending champions finished the day with four wins alongside Artemis Racing with Iain Percy at the helm and Gazprom two. Team Aqua has jumped into the overall lead with 19 wins, three points ahead of their nearest rivals.

Video interviews with Patrick de Barros (POR), Russell Coutts (NZL), Iain Percy (GBR) and Ed Baird (USA):

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Watch: Meet Oracle Team USA Designer Dirk Kramers

International C Class Catamaran Championship- Oracle Lead Designer – Dirk Kramers from Penalty Box Productions on Vimeo.

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Read: Australia’s Hamilton Island Yacht Club Confirmed As Challenger Of Record

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The following statement was issued by the Golden Gate Yacht Club (GGYC), the defender and trustee of the America’s Cup, on Monday, September 30:

Hamilton Island Yacht Club (HIYC), located on the edge of the Great Barrier Reef in Queensland, Australia, has challenged for the 35th America’s Cup. HIYC’s challenge has been accepted by the Golden Gate Yacht Club, which remains the Defender and Trustee of the world’s oldest international sporting trophy after its team, ORACLE TEAM USA owned by Larry Ellison, won the 34th America’s Cup in San Francisco last Wednesday.

For the past three decades HIYC has run Audi Hamilton Island Race Week, which has become the largest annual regatta in Australia with some 200 offshore yachts competing in recent years.

HIYC is led by Australian winemaker and sailing legend Bob Oatley, whose succession of yachts named Wild Oats have dominated ocean racing in Australia for years, including having won six of the last eight Sydney-Hobart races. An Australian team led by Mr. Oatley won the last Admiral’s Cup, widely regarded as the world’s top prize in ocean racing.

The challenge was filed by Mr. Oatley and his son, Sandy, on behalf of HIYC shortly after ORACLE TEAM USA won the thrilling deciding final race in the 34th America’s Cup against Emirates Team New Zealand on San Francisco Bay on September 25th.

“We are delighted to have Hamilton Island Yacht Club and the Oatley’s leading Australia back into the America’s Cup for the first time since 2000,” said GGYC Vice Commodore and America’s Cup liaison Tom Ehman. “Hamilton Island’s challenge was filed on the day Australia was celebrating the 30th anniversary of Australia II’s historic win in the 1983 America’s Cup off Newport, RI, which ended New York Yacht Club’s 132-year reign as the Cup’s defender.”

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Watch: Final Day Highlights Of The 2013 49er And 49erFX World Championship

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Read: The America’s Cup In Numbers

Day 15 of the Final Match at 34th America's Cup

The 2013 America’s Cup was a revolution in the sport. The legacy of the America’s Cup on San Francisco Bay is bringing the racing to the fans and then delivering fantastic 50 mph boats, enthralling racing, ground-breaking television graphics and the sports comeback story of the century.

“This regatta has changed sailing forever. More people watched the first race of this America’s Cup than all of the America’s Cups in history, so I think it’s a success,” said Larry Ellison, whose vision of high-speed, wing sail catamarans racing in the tight confines of San Francisco Bay was realized this month.

The contest for the oldest trophy in international sport was completely modernized with innovation and technology.Investment in television graphics and production meant new fans could instantly recognize and understand what was happening on the water.

The AC Liveline technology behind the graphics won an Emmy Award and changed the way the sport is viewed on television.

“I think about this regatta and what it means to sailing,” said Ellison. “I think it was absolutely spectacular. If a bunch of kids are inspired to go sail, I’m a happy guy.”

Here are the numbers behind the event:

  • 203 countries broadcast the America’s Cup on television
  • America’s Cup broadcast in news bulletins globally 15,000 times
  • Over 320,000 downloads of the America’s Cup app
  • Over 1 million visitors to the official public sites in San Francisco at America’s Cup Park and America’s Cup Village. Hundreds of thousands more viewed the racing from the city front
  • Nearly 10,000 hospitality guests
  • Over 5 million unique visitors to AmericasCup.com in September and over 45-million page views during the Summer of Racing (July 1 to September 26)
  • 24.8 million views of videos on YouTube
  • Over 100 million minutes of videos viewed in the past month
  • 575 accredited media, from 32 countries
  • A 19 show America’s Cup Concert Series
  • Over 25% of the population of New Zealand watched the racing broadcast live during the America’s Cup Finals

What they’re saying:

New York Times

The Cup is the oldest major trophy in sport… Pushed into a postmodern place

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Watch: Comeback Story In Their Own Words

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Watch: Spithill On Leno

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Read: Dean Barker Blog – It’s Over

Deans Blog

2013-07-01_2322_team_nz_skipper_dean_barker_with_the_ac72_N5This is not the entry I was ever hoping to have to write. But here we are the day after and it hurts. Yesterday’s loss in the deciding race was a bitter pill to swallow. But the writing was on the wall the day before when Oracle sailed around us on the upwind leg showing some serious pace. The final race was tough. We knew we needed to win the start and lead around the bottom gate to have any chance. We did that but very quickly we knew we were in trouble as they sailed past us and kept extending. There was nothing we could do.

I am so incredibly proud of the Team. What we have achieved over the past 3 years has been amazing and something I have enjoyed more than any other time in my sailing career. The attitude of the Team even after Oracle began their comeback was incredible with not a person ever close to throwing in the towel.

Credit has to go to Oracle for the way they turned things around. Having had a good speed advantage over them in the first week upwind, this quickly changed to them having an advantage over us in the second week. How they managed to do this was phenomenal. Unfortunately for us we had pretty much tapped out all the performance we could from our boat.

The emotion of having lost this Cup is pretty raw. Having been only one win away from bringing the Cup home, to then lose it makes things so much tougher. I can honestly say we could have done no more. The two final races we had the lead at the bottom gate and normally would have extended from there. But things had changed so dramatically with Oracles upwind performance they pretty much sailed around us.

II have never been so touched as I feel today. I have had a constant stream of emails directly and through ETNZ and Kiwi Yachting. Most emails are from people who I have never met but the kind words of support and encouragement are very strong and humbling. To me losing the AC is a failure. As a Team we came to San Fran to win the AC not to compete. We came so close but unfortunately fell just short and to finish second is just not enough. Through the support of all these amazing people it certainly helps to soften the hurt, but it still does not change the result.

One thing I will never forget is the support the Team has received from NZers both here in San Fran and at home. It gave the Team a huge lift to have such passionate supporters. I just wish we could have given all our supporters the result that they wanted.

I cannot say enough about how moving the messages of support have been. I want to say thanks to all of our supporters in NZ and around the World for the compassion they have shown. It is incredibly moving for me.

Dean

www.kiwiyachting.co.nz

 

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Read: Day Three Of 49er and 49erFX World Championships

49er website

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At the 49er and 49erFX World Championships, Sarah Steyaert and Julie Bossard sailed a stunning third day of qualification, winning both of today’s heats and moving to the top of the women’s leaderboard in Marseille. The former Laser Radial World Champion from La Rochelle moved to Marseille three months ago and the local knowledge showed today.

Where most of the 53 teams could make little sense or pattern of the extreme light airs on the Mediterranean, somehow the French team found a consistency that no other crew came close to matching.

‘Starting was really important,’ said Steyaert. ‘We did not do good starts the last two days, and it’s important because it can be very ‘go left’ in these conditions. But today we thought the pressure was everywhere so we started close to the committee boat. We sailed well tactically, and we weren’t so fast but we handled the waves OK, which are quite different from most places.’

Olivia Price, Australia’s match racing silver medallist from last year’s Olympic Games, put in a good day with crew Caitlin Elks. ‘We didn’t really get off the start line that well but we found some clear air and could start sailing our own race,’ said Price. ‘We picked up a few boats on the downwind, went round the starboard mark rather than most people going round the port mark.’ Their alternative downwind strategy served them well, and the GPS tracking revealed they had spent the least time sailing downwind, making the Aussies the Queens of the Downwind for the day. 

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