Rolex Champion of Champions

6 Races were held today on Lake Carlyle. The temperature was a bit cooler than yesterday, about 45 F. The breeze was a bit stronger at 8-12 knots. Still it was very shifty and puffy and there was plenty of ups and downs. It is like playing that game you play with your kids… Shoots and Ladders.

Before lunch we sailed pretty good and thought we were finally developing a bit of consistency. I think we had a 7, 5, 4. After lunch, that feeling of smoothness and consistency went away. Maybe it was the Turkey sandwich. We had a bad one, maybe 15th, then we nailed the pin end of the start and had a 50 yard lead at the fist mark of the second race. We went to hoist the spinnaker and the halyard had jumped the sheave. No kite for 2 minutes while we flailed away trying to get that thing sorted. We finished second in that race. That’s how big our lead was!

Then in the last race, I got a horrible start, we battled back to 8th and then up the last beat we lost 9 boats. Frustrating!

To give you and idea about the wind here, you can be sailing along and then just have the jib back. When a puff hits you hike out and then jump back in the boat as it is gone in 2 seconds. It is a workout.

Christine, our little doctor, is great. She is putting up with two overgrown Star boys who fumble around on this thing with the grace of an elephant. Plus we are bitching about everything from the boat to the conditions and she is putting up with all that. She is the best. She is a pediatrician so she is used to dealing with children.

Sorry I am not writing more about who is winning but I honestly don’t know who is winning. I think Greg Fisher is doing pretty well. There are quite a few teams here who sail Lightning’s regularity.

Tonight I am giving the group a talk about the Pirates of the Caribbean Volvo team, and whatever else they want to hear about. I have some of those great videos that should get a few oh’s and ah’s. I will be selling my Pirates Book where the money goes to the junior sailing programs at SFYC and St. FYC.

Tomorrow we will probably have three more races and then fly back to SFO tomorrow night. I sailing on my Hula Girl on Sunday with my son Danny. We are taking a group sailing who won the trip at a school auction in my neighborhood.

You can see the results at 2009 US SAILING’s Championship of Champions

Paul Cayard Sailing on Twitter

Rolex Champion of Champions

I am here in the heart of America sailing in the Rolex US Sailing’s Champions of Champions regatta. This is an annual regatta bringing together 20 nation and world champions from the USA. Each year they rotate the venue and the type of boat used. This year the boat is the Lightning. I had never sailed a Lightning before yesterday but had two great coaches to help me get familiar. The first one is part of my team, Kristine Wake and the second was regatta chairman Matt Burridge. Matt is a very experienced Lightning sailor and he took time to coach me yesterday.

The Lightning is a fairly heavy boat, very flat bottomed and wide. It has a fractional spinnaker and a fairly small upwind sail plan. It is basically underpowered. The competitors are representing classes like the Snipe (long time Star Sailor friend – Augie Diaz), Lightning, 505 World Champ (Mike Martin), Comet, Day Sailor, Finn, FJ, Geary 18, Highlander, Mercury (childhood friend of mine Chris Raab), Optimist, and many more. These sailors are all very good and very competitive and some of us have known each other for years so that makes it fun.

My good friend and Star crew Austin Sperry has joined me here and together with Kristine, we are a strong but heavy team. Not Kristine, she weighs 105 pounds. But Austin and I are big for this type of boat at 430 between us. The ideal total weight is about 470 pounds. Today it was very light wind and 46 degrees! We all sat on the wind side once for about 10 seconds. The wind was also very shifty so it was tricky and sometimes frustrating sailing – not just for us but for everyone I think. We had a lot of ups and downs in our scores. It is like a college regatta in how the scoring looks. We did have a bullet right before lunch so that was nice.

I have no idea what the scores are. We were in 8th at lunch time after four races. We did four more races after lunch for a total of 8. We are scheduled to race 20 races through Saturday 1200. We rotate boats after each race so that evens things up a bit. All the boats have new North Sails so that is very nice. Really it has been about the start and the shifts more than the speed of any boat.

You can see the results at 2009 US SAILING’s Championship of Champions

Forecast for tomorrow is more of the same. Off to dinner in downtown Carlyle, population 3500.

Paul Cayard Sailing on Twitter

Paul Cayard – The Mystery Guest

(October 12, 2009) The US SAILING Championship of Champions event is that rare collection of one-design class champions, coming together for equal parts camaraderie and competition. Racing begins this Thursday on Lake Carlyle in St Louis, MO, with all the prize winning skippers competing in equally matched Lightnings to even the playing field.

Competing in the field as the ‘mystery guest’ is Paul Cayard, whose professional sailing career typically takes him to events like the America’s Cup and the Volvo Ocean Race, but his roots are in the Star class where he has won the 1988 Worlds and represented the U.S. in the 2004 Olympics.

Scuttlebutt checks in with Paul regarding his trip to the C of C’s:

What is it about the C of C’s that has motivated you to participate?

I like meeting sailors whom I don’t regularly compete against. These sailors are the top sailors in their classes, and I understand that this year’s group is particularly deep. I am also looking forward to racing on Lake Carlyle and meeting the sailors there.

How prepared are you for this event?

Honestly, not too prepared. I have never had the chance to compete in the C of C?s before, and it will be my first time in a Lightning.

Here’s one tip – avoid sitting over the centerboard trunk in shallow water?

Thanks, I had not heard that one. I will pass it on to my crew.

Would you make any changes with how professional sailors now participate in the sport?

I don’t know that I would change a lot. The market dictates the opportunities and the individual makes his choices. I have found that there are a lot of cool things to do in our sport that don’t pay financially speaking but are none the less rewarding. I like to race with my children or to sail in something like the C of C’s. I also really like sailing in the BVI with the Bitter End Yacht Club hotel guests and will forgo some work to participate in the Bitter End Pro Am Regatta this year. There is more to life than money and we all eventually figure that out.

Do you ever wonder if there is too much being invested in the sport by people wanting to succeed?

No. People who want to succeed in anything will always invest a lot, be it time, effort, or money. That is just the nature of competition. Everyone makes their own choices in that regard. Often the beauty of one design sailing is that it puts a premium on the effort and time, while the money is not so important.

What are your goals for the C of C’s?

To meet a great group of sailors all tops in their class, meet the people who sail in the heart of America, and have fun!

Rolex Big Boat Series

I have just sailed the first two days as tactician on the TP 52 Flash. We won the day in our class today with a 3, 1 which puts us in second place overall in IRC A. Vincitore with Chris Dickson steering got a 2, 4 today and is in first overall by 3 points in our class. Samba Pa Ti, our Trans Pac rival, is in 3rd in our class.

I am flying to Spain tonight to join the crew of Artemis for the last event in the Audi Med Cup circuit. This event is going to be raced in Cartagena Spain the original port of the Spanish fleet.

It was a lot of fun for me to race in the Rolex Big Boat Series in my home town. I rarely get to sail in this event as I am usually in Europe at this time of year. I love to sail on the bay. It is still the best sailing stadium in the world!! Bar none!

So good luck to my Flash teammates for the remaining 3 races.

I will start writing from Cartagena in a few days.

PAUL CAYARD TO SPEAK AT WORLD YACHT RACING FORUM

Geneva, 21 October 2008 – Organisers of the World Yacht Racing Forum are pleased to announce Paul Cayard as one of the guest speakers at the inaugural two day conference in Monaco this December. Cayard joins an already impressive list of speakers and panellists including Team Alinghi skipper Brad Butterworth (NZL), CEO of Team Origin Sir Keith Mills (GBR), world champion sailor Peter Gilmour (AUS), Volvo Ocean Race CEO Knut Frostad, Founder of the Louis Vuitton Cup Bruno Trouble, World Match Racing Tour President Scott Macleod, IMOCA Executive Director Franck David, Team Shosholosa CEO Salvatore Sarno, and many more.

Paul Cayard (USA) is one of the most successful sailors in the last 25 years. A veteran round the world sailor, Cayard skippered Team EF Language to victory in the 1988 Whitbread Round the World, and finished a narrow second behind Team ABN Amro in the 2005-2006 edition of the Volvo Ocean Race as skipper of Disney’s “Pirates of the Caribbean”.

A two time-Olympic sailor and seven-time sailing world champion, Cayard is no stranger to the yacht racing scene,

‘The Black Pearl – A Pirate Ship’

The perfect gift for the holiday season!

This is the last chance to purchase a limited edition copy of Captain Cayard’s memoirs of the Pirates of the Caribbean team’s momentous race around the world.

Imagine what it was like onboard ‘The Black Pearl’ for Captain Cayard and his Pirate crew as they competed in Volvo Ocean Race 2005-2006.

Click here to order your copy in time for the holidays.

Copies are $25 or $50 for autographed copies. All proceeds are in support of youth sailing in the San Francisco Bay Area.

Please allow two weeks for domestic shipping, autographed copies are available.

WORLD SAILING LEAGUE UNVEILS SPEED MACHINE DESIGN

Today, the World Sailing League (WSL) unveiled the innovative design for their futuristic 70 ft catamarans that will be raced in the new global Grand Prix series, the premier annual sailing competition. The spectacular speed-machines represent the next evolution of sailing and will be the fastest one design boats ever built.

With towering masts of over 98 ft and foiled hulls sitting at almost 40 ft wide, these catamarans represent the forefront of design technology. The boats will be crewed by nine professional sailors and one select guest and will be capable of speeds up to 40 knots,

Designer Vincent Lauriot Prévost of VPLP explained the design philosophy: “We are very excited about this catamaran because she represents a step towards the future of racing. If we consider that monohulls were the racing standard, then multihull design has stretched the performance possibilities and now ‘outmodes’ the mono. Now these multihulls armed with foils will be the next generation that will overtake the conventional multihull. WSL will spearhead this new evolution.”

For WSL event owner João Lagos, the design launch represents an important step forward in the development of the World Sailing League: “We’ve been working hard for a long time to create all of the areas of WSL and have accelerated our efforts since our launch in February. Whilst venue development is an exceptionally important aspect of the project, the boats and their spectacular performance characteristics are integral to the WSL vision for creating fast, equally matched and coast hugging fleet racing. We always wanted to create something new and exciting in the sport and I believe that with this new design is the first important piece of our vision.”

Under a strict one design, no compromise philosophy the catamarans will combine speed, manoeuvrability and the ability to sail close to shore for optimum spectator viewing whilst the high mast and foils will ensure thrilling racing in a wide range of breeze.

The central pod and hulls will be constructed from carbon fibre prepreg foam sandwich to minimise weight, with single skin carbon fibre autoclaved prepreg used for the mast and beams. The centreboard on the pod will be 4.25 metres deep, with the option to raise it to 3.5 metres for racing close to shore. There will be five sails available to the teams, ranging from the 72 m2 staysail to a 260 m2 gennaker.

Legendary sailors Russell Coutts and Paul Cayard, founders of WSL, have been heavily involved with the design and planning process. Coutts commented: “Paul and I have been working on this project for some time now, so it’s fantastic to be at the point where we are starting to build these catamarans. These boats are going to be extremely quick and should represent the future of fleet racing. Vincent (Lauriot Prévost) and his team have done a great job and we can’t wait to take the first one for a test run on the water.”

With the design now finalised, fourteen of these spectacular catamarans will be built in Portugal, with the first due for completion in June 2008. The remaining boats will be built over the following 18 months, in time for promotional regattas around the world in 2009 and the first full year of the World Sailing League in 2010.

The name of this exciting new class will be announced at the unveiling of the first boat in July next year.

Design specifications

~ Weight: 5,700kg

~ LOA: 70ft

~ Width: 12metres

~ Mast height: 30 metres

Sail specifications

~ Main 168m2

~ Solent 115m2

~ Staysail 72m2

~ Code 0 155m2

~ Gennaker 260m2 (approx.)

Cayard, Coutts and Lagos announce World Sailing League

New global series underwritten, first event in 2009

Sailing legends Russell Coutts and Paul Cayard have teamed up with internationally renowned Portuguese sports promoter, João Lagos, to create a new annual global sports series. The World Sailing League (WSL) will be held at premier sailing locations around the world with the series winner receiving a cheque for $2 million.

Twelve teams, representing nations, will compete in identical, state-of-the-art 70ft catamarans. It is anticipated that there will be venues in the Mediterranean, Northern Europe, the Middle East, Asia, North America and South America. Cayard and Coutts are both committed to skipper teams in the league.

João Lagos, whose company, Lagos Sports, runs prestigious international golf, cycling, tennis and motor racing events, commented: “I immediately recognised the potential of the World Sailing League and am excited about the opportunity to raise the profile of sailing here in Portugal through this international sporting event”. There is also the possibility of a Portuguese venue and team, but this is yet to be confirmed.

“From the results of our detailed due diligence and conversations with potential venues, skippers and sponsors, I can confirm that the level of support for this new and innovative concept has been remarkable and we are delighted to be involved.”

Russell Coutts outlined why João Lagos is the ideal partner for WSL: “We have been planning this for a long time and were looking for an organisation that would share our vision for the World Sailing League. In João Lagos we have an entrepreneurial figure with the foresight to see the potential of these events, coupled the expertise and credibility to bring the concept to life. Our partnership with Lagos Sports, a leading event promoter allows us to make this announcement today.”

Cayard added, “Russell, João Lagos and I are pooling our experiences from the America’s Cup, the Olympic Games and a multitude of other sporting competitions. We have taken the best ideas from sports events all over the world – and added innovative concepts – to generate an exciting new series that will maximise the appeal to sailors, sponsors and spectators. For a venture like this, it was also important that ISAF support the concept and they have confirmed they are fully behind us.”

The World Sailing League will use a fleet racing format although a number of other innovative concepts such as time trials and slalom racing will be tested using the prototype yacht. It will also have a customised support ship to transport the boats and equipment to each venue. The ship will be akin to a transportable pit lane, with all the technology required to maintain the 70′ catamarans.

The design of the boats will be finalised by early summer of this year with the first prototype being launched in the latter half of 2007 to allow sufficient testing and refinement. The 14 one-design yachts will start being built in 2008, ready for the launch of the series during 2009.

The new boats have been designed by a team including Marc Van Peteghem and Lauriot Prévost and are at the forefront of technology. The 70ft catamarans will combine speed, maneuverability and the ability to sail close to shore for optimum spectator viewing.

There will be a further media announcement towards the end of this year at which further information and details of venues, teams, sponsors and the boats will be revealed.