Star Sailors League Finals

Nassau, Bahamas

Four races were held today outside Montegue Bay offf the east end of New Providence Island.  The wind was easterly at 14 knots for the first race dropping to 7  knots for the fourth race.  There was a 15 degree persistent shift to the southeast as the day went on.

Josh and I didn’t have a great day.  We didn’t seem to have speed upwind and I am not going to win the sail fanning contest downwind against the Laser and Finn Sailors.  In this regatta, it is open season on pumping, rocking and ouching so it is like a gymnastics competition downwind.

Our worst race is a 17th yet we slid in the overall standings down to 19th. The discard kicked in today and we don’t have any top 10 races.  Hopefully there will be enough wind tomorrow and on Friday to race five more races and finish the schedule.  We are just 4 points out of 12th so plenty of vertical movement is possible for us.

We took our mast down tonight after sailing to check it and found a few things slightly off so we adjusted it for more power and put it back up in the dark. We will use our light air mainsail tomorrow also.

Robert Scheidt took over the lead in the series today. He and Mark Mendelblatt seem to be the fastest to me. Obviously they are sailing well too.  Diego Negri of Italy has good speed and is in second overall.  The top three are in a league of their own so far.

For complete results go to www.finals.starsailors.com

Paul

Star Sailors League Press

Nassau

Here is the official SSL press release from the first day of racing.

SSL Finals 2016
November 28th – December 4th
Nassau, Bahamas

BATTLE COMMENCES AT SSL FINALS 2016

The 4th edition of the Star Sailors League Finals kicked off in earnest today with two qualifying races. The early exchanges confirmed the amazing quality and depth in the fleet, which contains no less than 16 Olympic medallist among the skippers alone. The trade winds have been consistently blowing for days before the regatta and the sea state was a significant factor, especially as the racecourse was at the very top of Montagu Bay. Squall activity affected both the wind speed and direction, with the breeze ranging from 10 to 20 knots and oscillating 30 degrees.

After two races, Italians Diego Negro & Sergio Lambertenghi showed consistency and speed to lead the Qualifying Rounds by a single point without winning a race. Americans Mark Mendelblatt & Brian Fatih finished a solid second and Brazilians Robert Scheidt & Henry Boening, finished the day in third.

Diego Negri:
It was a great day, not an easy first one though, lots of wind changes and waves. We had a good start on the first race, we were on the left, fought among the top five at the top mark and finished third. For the second race the wind increased a little bit, we decided to start more in the middle of the fleet and we were leeward to the fleet, got a big righty and it looked good, we had a nice fight and with a great downwind leg we finished second.”

Robert Scheidt is back at the SSL Finals having missed out last year due to his Olympic Laser campaign. Sailing with Henry Boening, the Brazilians were first to the top mark and were never overtaken, winning the first race of the regatta. Americans Mark Mendelblatt & Brian Fatih, were never out of the leading pack and finished second. Italians Diego Negro & Sergio Lambertenghi showed good speed and consistency to take third.

Robert Scheidt:
The first race was very good, it was a good fight with Mendelblatt and Negri. We are happy we were able to hold them off and won the first race. The second race wasn’t so good, we made some technical mistakes but we finished within the top 10 and that was our goal.”

Race Two got underway after the top mark was moved to accommodate a big wind shift, and it was a blanket start, with virtually the entire fleet hitting the line on the start gun. SSL City Grand Slam champions, Xavier Rohart & Pierre-Alexis Ponsot copped a turning penalty in the first race of the regatta but the Frenchmen came back fighting in Race Two, taking the gun ahead of Negri & Lambertenghi. Jorge Zarif & Bruno Prada sailed intelligently upwind, and showed great technique downwind, to claim third.

After two races, the top VIP team was Jonas Høgh-Christensen & Stevie Milne, with two sixth place finishes. Putting the Danish/Northern Ireland combination in seventh place. Høgh-Christensen is a phenomenal Finn sailor representing Denmark at three Olympic Games, winning the Silver Medal at the London Olympic Games after an epic battle with Ben Ainslie. However this was the first time the Great Dane has even raced a Star.

Jonas Høgh-Christensen:
“We had a very good feeling with the boat, we tried to keep it simple and stay our of trouble. We had a couple of bad starts but managed to recover quite quickly after and sailed fast, both up and downwind, especially downwind we are fast. It was super fun and we really enjoyed it!
I love the Star, it’s tough, it’s technical, but with the free pumping it really comes in handy being a Finn sailor. The conditions couldn’t be better, it’s sailing in paradise.”

The youngest skipper taking part in the 2016 SSL Finals is the 22 year-old Argentinian VIP Facundo Olezza, racing with Portuguese Finn and Star sailor, Federico Melo. The rookie notched up a fifth place in the first race and ended the day in 8th position in the fleet.

Facundo Olezza:
“It was unbelievable to finish fifth in the first race! I personally try not to think about all of the names of my competitors, if I think of what they have achieved in their careers I would be more respectful than what I should be. So I just try to do my best, go out and sail. On top of everything try to enjoy it. The opportunity to race among these champions is one in a million. I am really happy to be here and I am learning a lot from Federico Melo. I love the Star, I don’t know what I was doing when I was sailing the other boats, from now on I will try to do some races on the Star along with my Finn Olympic campaign”.

Racing at the SSL Finals 2016 continues tomorrow with the second day of the Qualifying Rounds. A maximum of four races are scheduled for tomorrow with live coverage starting at 1100 (GMT-5).

Full coverage of all four days of action will be streamed live on the Internet with expert commentary from special studio guests, including America’s Cup four time winner Dennis Conner and Olympic silver medalist in London 2012 Luke Patience. On the water, the latest in hi-tech camera technology, as well as Virtual Eye 3D Graphics, will provide thrilling viewing.

Since our audience is present in all parts of the globe, Internet will be our stadium. From November 29th to December 4th, regattas will be streamed live on http://finals.starsailors.com. A complete live video stream of the races as well as additional insights provided by the state-of-the-art tracking system developed by Virtual Eye for the America’s Cup will allow people from over the world to follow their favorites and to cheer for them. Many prestigious sailing websites around the globe will also share our live broadcast on their homepage.

For more information visit
finals.starsailors.com

Nassau, Bahamas, November 29th, 2016

__________________________

Press enquiries to:

Rachele Vitello
SSL Media and Communication
rachele.vitello@starsailors.com

 

Star Sailors League

Nassau, Bahamas

We are back in Nassau for the 4th Star Sailors League Final. The Star Sailors League (SSL) is the creation of Michel Niklaus, a Swiss Star sailor who has a dream.  Michel’s dream is to bring together the best sailors in the world and have them compete against each other.  The boat that seems best suited for this is the Star. So far, beyond the 3 Finals of the years past, there have been two “Grand Slam’s”, one in Berlin this year and one in Grandson, Switzerland in 2015.

For this years Final, the fleet has been increased to 25 competitors.  The 25 teams are composed of the top Star sailors in the world, most of the Olympic medalists from the Laser and Finn classes in Rio, the World Match Race Champion. You can check the sailing resumes at www.starsailors.com.

 

I am sailing with Josh Revkin at this years final. Josh is not only a very keen Star sailor but he is very accomplished at the young age of 26.  He finished third at this years’ Star World Championship crewing for Brian Ledbetter and recently won the Star North American Championship in Chicago crewing for Eivind Melleby.  Josh wanted to use his boat here, (his fathers boat) which is identical to mine.  But Josh is trying  new mast made by Burton and  some sails cut specifically for that mast, by Doyle.  It is all a bit new to me but we have had good speed the last three days so it seems to be working.

Today was Day 1 and two races were held in 12-15 knots from the East.  The conditions were typical of Nassau…nice rolling waves, warm water, and moderate winds. In both races, we got caught on the wrong side of the first shift and ended up in the high teens at the first marks.  In the first race we made some good moves and got up to 13th.  In the second race we again made up some ground to round the final mark about 13th but sailed slow down the final run and lost four boats.  Those scores put us in 14th place overall.  Everyone is very good here so there are no easy point to be had.

Diego Negri(ITA) and Sergio Lambertenghi has the best day with a 3, 2 and Mark Mendelblatt(USA) with Brian Fatih had a solid 2, 4 for second place.  Robert Scheidt(BRA), the winner of the first SSL Finals in 2013, is in third place.

The format is for the entire fleet to race together through Friday, with up to 4 races per day.  On Saturday morning, the top 10 will move forward to the finals portion of the regatta.  The winner of the fleet racing will be qualified straight into the final while the runner up will be qualified into the semi final.  The remaining 8 will race the quarter final with the top 5 meeting the runner up in the semi final.  The top three from the semi will meet the fleet race winner in the final, a single race, winner takes all.

The forecast for the week has been quite windy but today was 3 knots less than forecast and tomorrow looks lighter than today at about 12 knots from the east southeast.

The racing is very well covered with Virtual and live shots on the SSL website.

For complete result and live streaming of the racing, go to: http://finals.starsailors.com

 

Egnos 52 Super Series Cascais Cup
Cascais, 11-15 ottobre 2016
© Zerogradinord

TP52 Super Series Cascais

Cascais, Portugal

We had a very rough day today on Phoenix.  We actually finished last in both races! I can’t remember ever doing that.  The conditions were 8-11 knots from the south which is a bit more wind than previous days.

In the first race today, I tried to win the pin end of the line at the start.  The current was sweeping us right to left and we had to tack to port just before the gun sounded and cross behind everyone heading right.  Normally this isn’t too bad if you do it early and get all the way through without anyone tacking on you.  And this was the case today.  However, the left side proved to be very good early in the leg and we arrived at the first mark 9th.  We never really recovered and somehow lost Provenza along the way.

In the second race we actually had a good start and headed left however the wind actually favored the right side this time.  We got mixed up a some traffic and came out on the short end of the stick on most of those encounters.  Around the last mark of the race we were 7th but got a penalty at the offset mark for not giving Gladiator room.  That penalty put us back to last.

Our speed isn’t great in these lighter conditions and this makes everything a bit more difficult.   Dealing with traffic and, tactics in general, get compromised.  Downwind, we are especially “sticky”.  This is due in part to a large foil package than the 2015 model year boats.  We are building a new rudder which will be 5% smaller than the one we have.  Some of the other boats have smaller keel fins too, so we are looking into that too.  We need to keep working on our sails and our set up.  The crew did an excellent job in all the maneuvers and everything was nearly perfect in that department.  They are all top professionals and I feel bad for them with the result we achieved here.

We came over to Europe for these two regattas to learn and to prepare.  We needed to see where the bar is in this fleet in order to have time to make adjustments prior to the 2017 season, which starts in January, in Key West.  Now we will make a plan as to how to address each of our weaknesses.  The boat will be getting some work done to it in Florida when it arrives there in three weeks.  We will probably do some training in December and early January to work on closing the gap we currently have with the fleet.

Azzurra sailed an excellent regatta and was the fastest boat in the sub 10 knot conditions that we had most of the week.  Quantum, always consistent finished second for the week and Sled did a lot of improving since Mahon and finished third.

I am headed back to San Francisco tomorrow and plan to be there for the next few weeks.  It’s been a pretty busy sailing season.

 

Paul

 

Egnos 52 Super Series Cascais Cup
Cascais, 11-15 ottobre 2016
© Zerogradinord

TP 52 Super Series Cascais

Cascais, Portugal

Four races were sailed on Thursday and Friday over here in Portugal for the Tp52 fleet.  The winds have been light all week and this is our weakness on Phoenix.  We have larger appendages than the newer boats and we feel it especially downwind.  On Thursday, we made the mistake of contorting our mast and mainsail set up trying to generate more power.  Normally this is a good idea but there is a such a thing as “too much”.  We hit that wall yesterday.  The set up was heeling the boat over but it was too much drag and the boat would not slip through the water.

We spent an hour out on the water last night after all the other teams went in, sorting through our set up.  We took a lot of photos of both set ups and of other boats.  We analyzed all that in our meeting late last night.  We came out today with a new set up and right from the get go, I could feel the boat was moving better.  While we had a much better day today, we didn’t win any races.  But the satisfying thing has been attacking our weakness and making a big improvement.

In terms of scores, we actually crossed the finish line last in one of the races yesterday and the other one wasn’t much better.  Today we had a 7 and 4 and in both races were were competitive with the top boats.  Again the conditions are not our best.

Egnos 52 Super Series Cascais Cup Cascais, 11-15 ottobre 2016 © Zerogradinord

Egnos 52 Super Series Cascais Cup
Cascais, 11-15 ottobre 2016
© Zerogradinord

Yesterday Bronenosec, Quantum, and Sled had very strong scored while Azzurra wiped a bit.  Today Azzurra come back strong with a 1, 2 and took back the lead in the regatta.  These four teams are clearly the fastest in this 7-10 knots conditions were have been racing in.

Tomorrow’s forecast is for slightly more wind, 8-12 knots, but that is just a forecast.  We on Phoenix would certainly be happy with a bit more wind.

For complete scores go to: http://www.52superseries.com

Paul

 

Egnos 52 Super Series Cascais Cup
Cascais, 11-15 ottobre 2016
© Zerogradinord

TP 52 Super Series-Cascais

Cascais, Portugal

The final TP 52 Super Series event of 2016 started yesterday in the Atlantic Ocean off Cascais Portugal.  There are 10 TP52’s here for the 5 day event which ends on Saturday.

On Tuesday, two races were held in 6-9 knots of wind from the southwest and smooth seas. In the first one, we on Phoenix were over the starting line early and had to restart.  We caught up to the group but only managed to pass one boat at the finish line.

In the second race, we had a great start and good speed upwind.  We went to the left side which turned out to be good.  We were leading 7/8’s of the way to the first mark only to fall in a patch of light winds.  We could not lee bow the first boat, Azzurra, when they tacked on the starboard lay line, so we decided to be conservative and duck the next two boats to round in fourth place.  From there we didn’t manage the race well and ultimately finished 9th again.  I am very disappointed with our first days’ performance.

Azzurra dominated the day with speed and smart tactics to win both races.  Quantum Racing had a 4, 2 while Provenza rounded out the top three with a 3, 4.

Egnos 52 Super Series Cascais Cup Cascais, 11-15 ottobre 2016 © Zerogradinord

Egnos 52 Super Series Cascais Cup
Cascais, 11-15 ottobre 2016
© Zerogradinord

Today was a miserable day here in terms of weather.  It rained most of the day and the winds were never steady. We finally started around 14:00. Near the first windward mark, a squall came through.  The wind increased from 8 knots to 20 knots and shifted 50 degrees to the right.  The race was abandoned but Quantum was ahead and sailing well.

Tomorrow’s forecast is better with 8-12 knots winds from the west forecast and sunshine.

For complete scores go to: http://www.52superseries.com/events/2016/eu/cascais-cup/

 

Paul

Calvi Network
Alcatel J/70 World Championship
San Francisco, 27 settembre - 1 ottobre 2016
© Calvi Network/ZGN

J70 World Championship-Final

Photo’s by Zerogradinord

San Francisco

The final two races of the 2016 J70 World Championship were held on Berkeley Circle Saturday.  The fleet made the 5 mile trek down to the circle in the customary light morning winds and for one last time, the arduous trek back to the St. Francis Yacht Club in the 20 knots westerly mixed with an outgoing tide and big waves.  I think most will agree, the trek was worth it.  the Circle served up a challenging week for tacticians.  Local knowledge didn’t pan out much of the time.  What worked on one run didn’t work on the very next.  It was a very open race course all week and that is what you need when hosting an event for 68 boats.

The winds were light at the scheduled 11:00 start time and Mark Fisher and his race committee postponed for 60 minutes to let the wind fill to 10 knots at the start of the first race. Joel Ronning and his Catapult team, with john Kostecki call tactics and trimming the main, went into the day with a 20 point lead and managed it very well with a pair of 4th place finished to finish with a 16 point advantage over last years World Champion Julien Fernandez of Mexico.  Judd Smith and his Africa got off to a huge lead in the first race of the day while we on Calvi Network had a bad first race with a 19th.  This switched the two of us in the overall standings.

Like all good one design racing, it is a matter of inches that allows you to cross a boat and then the rest of the line on starboard or if not enough ahead, to duck one boat and then 9 more.  I didn’t get us good enough starts in general this week and that made a difference when looking for those very important inches in the first cross of the first windward legs.

Before the start of the last race, I told out team that we were going to the right corner up and downwind.  That is “old school” Berkeley Circle.  And it was right.  We rounded the first mark 9th, after once again ducking 5 boats just before rounding at the top.  We immediately gybe set and planned off in the opposite direction of the fleet.  This turned into a 1 minute lead at the leeward gate, and life was easy after that!  Wining the last race was a nice way to finish a week in which I felt I did sail up to my expectations.

Calvi Network Alcatel J/70 World Championship San Francisco, 27 settembre - 1 ottobre 2016 © Calvi Network/ZGN

We on Calvi Network we finished 4th while the fastest boat on the track, Claudia Rossi’s Petit Terrible finished 5th in her first World Championship.

This J70 class has a great future.  The boat’s are fun to sail, especially in breeze, and are very affordable.  I would say that the technical specifications and measurement process needs a little improving.  But that is to be expected with a class that is virtually exploding with over 1200 boats built in its first 3 years.  Next years World Championship will be in Porto Cervo which I am sure will lure close to 100 boats.

Calvi Network Alcatel J/70 World Championship San Francisco, 27 settembre - 1 ottobre 2016 © Calvi Network/ZGN

Calvi Network
Alcatel J/70 World Championship
San Francisco, 27 settembre – 1 ottobre 2016
© Calvi Network/ZGN

I am off to Europe this week for a Star event in Italy and then the final event of the TP52 Super Series in Cascais, Portugal.

For complete results go to: https://www.regattatoolbox.com/results?eventID=klcyTZvX7U

 

Paul

Calvi Network
J/70 World Championship
San Francisco, 27 settembre - 1 ottobre 2016
© Calvi Network/ZGN

J70 World Championship 2016

Photos by Zerogradinord

San Francisco

Three races were held today on Berkeley Circle for the J70 fleet.  The wind for the first two races was 10-12 knots and it was osculating giving plenty of opportunities to all the competitors.

On Calvi Network we had a solid first race, finishing 3rd right behind Claudia Rossi, the leader at that point. The Mexican’s on Flojito were right behind us in 4th.  Joel Ronning was 10th and Judd Smith in his Africa was 28th. At this point 23 year old Claudia Rossi with her Petit Terrible was winning the Championship, Ronning second, Calvi Network third.

In the second race, we had to work our way through the fleet to finish 8th.  Again is was sub planing conditions which is not our forte so we were happy with the 8th. Running sailed a great race to finish 2nd, while Flojito finished 6th. Again Africa had a tough race in 34th and Rossi gathered her first bad race with a 52nd.

For the  third race the wind came up to 16 knots.  I got us a horrible start.  It turned out to be a really horrible start as we found out after the finish that we were Black Flagged.  In a bitter sweet way, it was our worst race, so losing it was not the worst outcome.  For Rossi, it was disaster as she won the race and held a commanding lead on the World Championship until she found out she also was Black Flagged. Judd Smith came back to win the final race of the day while Ronning had a solid 8th.

At this point, with two races to go, Joel Ronning, in his Catapult, has a commanding 20 point lead on Julien Fernandez Flojito with us in Calvi Network in third 2 points a drift of Flojito.

The forecast for tomorrow is for lighter winds, similar to this morning’s races.

For complete results go to: https://www.regattatoolbox.com/results?eventID=klcyTZvX7U

 

Paul

Calvi Network
J/70 World Championship
San Francisco, 27 settembre - 1 ottobre 2016
© Calvi Network/ZGN

J70 World Championship-Day 3

photos by Zerogradinord

San Francisco

Two races were held today on Berkeley Circle for the J70 fleet. The first one was in non-planing conditions of 8-12 knots and the second had winds of 15-20 knots.

It’s impressive how competitive the fleet is.  Yesterday’s convincing winner, Flojito, scored a 20 and 10 today.  Judd Smith who is third overall scored a 19, 1 today.  Claudia Rossi (ITA) is the most consistent; other than her 15th in the first race, she has been in the top 5 each race but has yet to win one. She is now leading with 19 points.

Calvi Network J/70 World Championship San Francisco, 27 settembre - 1 ottobre 2016 © Calvi Network/ZGN

Today’s winner was Joel Ronin in his Catapult with John Kostecki calling the shots.  The score a 1, 3 and are now in second place overall, 2 points behind Rossi.

There was actually a third race today that was abandoned at the half way point when the race committee realized the course had been set with 20 degrees of error.  In this race Ronin and Smith were 1, 2 which is nearly identical to how they scored in the re-run of the race so justice was served there.

The top 5 are starting to shape up and with 5 races to go, any of them could win.  Rossi is both fast and getting good starts so she is going to be tough to beat.

Onboard Calvi Network, we had an ok day.  In the first race we made a nice comeback to finish 5th.   In the second race of the day, I took us to the left side of the course looking for the early ebb current coming out of the South Bay but the right hand shift outweighed the current.  We rounded the first mark about 15th and only managed to come back to 11th.

We are in 4th place overall, 10 points out of first.  With 5 races left, there is plenty of opportunity to move up and down the scoreboard.

Tomorrow’s schedule has three races planned. The forecast is calling for 15-20 knots.

For complete results go to: https://www.regattatoolbox.com/results?eventID=klcyTZvX7U

 

Calvi Network
J/70 World Championship
San Francisco, 27 settembre - 1 ottobre 2016
© Calvi Network/ZGN

J70 World Championship-Day 2

Photo by Zergradinord

San Francisco

Three races were held on Berkeley Circle for the 68 international teams competing in the J70 World Championship on Wednesday.  The conditions were once again, true San Francisco.  The fog was lurking if not covering the race course, the wind had bite, and blew 14-18 knots. There was a big left shift in the last race that caught more than one local off guard.

In race one, 13 year old Gannon Troutman on his Pied Piper led wire to wire.  This is fantastic to have such youth competing in events like this. We, on Calvi Network, made a good comeback. after rounding the last mark 7th, we gybe set and came into the finish line hot to just nip Petit Terrible and Flojito to the second place.

Calvi Network J/70 World Championship San Francisco, 27 settembre - 1 ottobre 2016 © Calvi Network/ZGN

Races two and three belonged to Flojito.  The Mexicans were very fast and sailed well. In the second race they had a 1:15 second lead at the first mark and sailed off into the horizon.  We managed a 7, and 3 in the last two races to make for a good day .

We are now in 4th overall.  Fernandez and Judd Smith on his Africa are tied for the lead with 21 points. Claudia Rossi is in their with 27 point and we are in 4th with 36 and Matias Seguel of Chile is in 5th with 50 points. After today’s first race we will be at the half way point in the regatta and each team will discard their worst finish.  There si still a lot of racing left.

Calvi Network J/70 World Championship San Francisco, 27 settembre - 1 ottobre 2016 © Calvi Network/ZGN

Calvi Network J/70 World Championship San Francisco, 27 settembre - 1 ottobre 2016 © Calvi Network/ZGN

The fog is covering the entire bay this morning.  I think the wind will be in this afternoon but with an 11:00 first start, it could be a bit light in the first race and the left usually features in the building breeze.

For complete results go to: