18 September 2006

Paul Cayard announced he will skipper Thuraya Maximus for the Rolex Middle Sea Race in late October. Cayard made the announcement on Monday at a press conference in Rome immediately following the Rolex Swan Cup, before heading to the Breitling Med Cup in Ibiza. On board will be joint owners Charles St Clare Brown and Bill Buckley along with a crew including Italian sailors Stefano Rizzi, Lorenzo Bodini, Gaetano Granara, Andrea Scarpa, Stefano Raspadori and Francesco Mongelli. The President of Gruppo Intermatica, Claudio Castellani, will also be on board as they battle it out against maxi rivals Alfa Romeo and Morning Glory on the challenging 608nm long course around Sicily.

September 19th, 2006 – Porto Cervo, Italy. Ninety-nine yachts representing 17 nations and ranging in length from 36 to 112 feet, comprising the oldest to the most modern, competed at the 14th Rolex Swan Cup organised by Yacht Club Costa Smeralda. The crews, which included some of the most famous names in sailing from the America’s Cup, Olympics and Round the World Races, tackled a week of intense racing, in almost every condition imaginable – winds ranging from 7 to 30 knots, smooth water and heavy swell, sunshine and torrential rain.

Moneypenny (USA) won on a tie-break in the extremely competitive Swan 601 One-Design fleet although

The Leukemia Cup kicked off on September 8 with a VIP reception and dinner for major sponsors and top fundraisers at the San Francisco Yacht Club. Eight year old Campbell Nolan, the honorary skipper of the Leukemia Cup, welcomed the VIPs and offered some poignant words of thanks to all involved in our event. Campbell was diagnosed with rare T-Cell Acute Lymphoblastic Leukemia in September 2005. He is currently enrolled in a clinical trial for a new drug specifically addressing T-Cell, and is being treated at UCSF Children?s Hospital. Since his diagnosis, Campbell has demonstrated great courage, insight and faith beyond his years.

World champion sailor Paul Cayard was the keynote speaker. Those who attended would agree that Cayard riveted the crowd with thrilling footage and stories from his recent adventure in the Volvo Ocean Race 2005-2006, skippering the Disney-sponsored Pirates of the Caribbean.

There were 55 boats on the start line racing under PHRF with spinnaker and non-spinnaker divisions, as well as one-design classes for J/105 and Rhodes 19.

The event raised an impressive $140,000 to honor blood cancer patients and help fight leukemia, lymphoma and myeloma. This far exceeded the organizer’s goal of $100,000 and is in fact the most successful first time Leukemia Cup Regatta ever.

19 Sept 2006 – Breitling Med Cup – When the twenty boat fleet lined up today off Ibiza town with the 12th century castle, which was built to defend the island, and the Faro de Botofoch lighthouse forming a distant backdrop, it was down to series leader Peter de Ridder and his team to repel the advances of all who seek to topple their 14 point lead. De Ridder and crew, also announced their intention to compete in the next Volvo Ocean Race, know they need only to sail a consistent series to lift the overall title.

But as has been proven at numerous regattas this season, this TP52 class does not simply bow down and respect Olympic medal, America’s Cup or Volvo Round the World race winners. A momentary lapse of concentration on the start line, or an ill chosen tactical call can mean a heavy loss in a fleet of this standard. With light and fickle winds expected for the first couple of days of racing, there will be no easy races at a venue which is all new to the TP52 fleet.

Last week they were rivals on the race course at the Rolex Swan Cup organized by the Yacht Club Costa Smeralda, but Paul Cayard and three time America’s Cup winner Russell Coutts returned to join forces to get the best out of George Andreadis and Jaime Yllera’s Lexus, with Coutts steering and Cayard calling tactics.

Racing started on Tuesday with windward leewards, coastal races planned for Wednesday and Friday, and the final races set for Saturday.

–Sept. 19, 2006–

Momentum Growing as Sailing Legends and Amateurs Prepare for 20th Annual Pro Am Regatta Week at Bitter End Yacht Club

Preparations are well underway for the much anticipated 20th Annual Pro Am Regatta, being held at Bitter End Yacht Club in the British Virgin Islands, October 28 – November 4, 2006. This year, the week long competition will feature a unique combination of fleet and match racing, and will be highlighted by the long awaited exhibition match “showdown” between sailing legends Russell Coutts and Paul Cayard. Along with one lucky amateur guest crewmember, Coutts and Cayard will face off aboard matched Hobie Getaways for bragging rights and to raise money for the Hokin Scholarship fund.

“Interest is running particularly high for our 20th Anniversary milestone Pro Am Regatta week,” said Dana Hokin, Bitter End Yacht Club Owner and Managing Partner. “Both amateurs and the legends of sailing who will participate are looking forward to this year’s competition and the lively social schedule that awaits them off the water, too. And, I am also pleased to announce that Banco Popular has joined the rapidly growing list of premier sponsors for this unique event.”

In addition to Coutts and Cayard, professional participants at this Year’s Pro Am Regatta include Ken Read, two-time Pro Am winner, two-time Rolex Yachtsman of the Year, five-time J-24 World Champion and Etchells World Champion; Dawn Riley, Whitbread and America’s Cup veteran, President of the Women’s Sports Foundation and America True; Dave Perry, one of the best-known sailors of the last 30 years, both as a world class racer, and as an inspirational author and educator; Lowell North, Founder of North Sails and Olympic Gold Medalist; Keith Musto, 2005 Pro Am winner, the U.K.’s best known dinghy sailor and Olympic Medalist; Rod Johnstone, 1st Annual Pro Am host, 2000 Pro Am winner and J-boat designer; Bruce Kirby, 1st Annual Pro Am host, two-time World Champion in I-14s, two-time Canadian Olympian, Father (designer) of the Laser, Sonar and Ideal 18 and penned America’s Cup racers for Canada (Canada 1 and 2), and Butch Ulmer, 1999 Pro Am winner and founder of U.K. Sails.

With the Maxi fleet on its way home after their week-long regatta, the Piazza Azzurra and the Marina of Porto Cervo are now jam-packed with crews from the record breaking fleet of 116 Swans all completing registration and inspection procedures. Representing 17 nations and ranging in length from 36 to 112 feet the Costa Smeralda is set to witness another incredible display of sailing power. Amongst the crews are some of the most famous names in sailing from the America’s Cup and Olympics – including Russell Coutts and Paul Cayard.

The 14th edition of the biennial Rolex Swan Cup, organised by the Yacht Club Costa Smeralda with the collaboration of Nautor’s Swan and Rolex as title sponsor, officially commences with tonight’s Skippers’ Briefing and Welcome Cocktail.

This year, the Rolex Swan Cup takes place from the 11th to the 17th of September. The programme includes five days of racing and throughout the week, the YCCS Race Committee will select a variety of race courses around the north-eastern coast of Sardinia and through the Archipelago de La Maddalena just to the north of Porto Cervo. Narrow straits, rocky outcrops, shifting winds and tight competition set against some of the most spectacular scenery imaginable, will test the crews’ nerve, skill and speed to the utmost.

The fleet participating at the Rolex Swan Cup will be split into four classes: Grand Prix, Classic, Swan 45 and Swan 601. The Grand Prix and Classic yachts will race under a special handicap system designed specifically for the Swan fleet, called NSR (Nautor Swan Rating). One of the peculiarities of the NSR is its ability to give a rating allowance to yachts whose crews genuinely live and sleep on board their yacht for the duration of the regatta. This allowance is aimed at encouraging “family entries” that carry extra weight and personal belongings while racing. The Swan 45 and Swan 601 are One-Design classes and will race without handicap, first home being the winner.

Thirty yachts are entered in the Swan 45 One-Design Class – a record gathering for the class that will guarantee some close-fought competition. Reigning Swan 45 World Champion Massimo Ferragamo from the USA, hopes to sail his Bellicosa to another victory, relying on an all-American crew with the exception of himself. He is well aware, though, that this will be a very demanding assignment: “It will be a fantastic regatta, with 30 boats on the starting line. It will be great fun, none of us has ever sailed with so many Swan 45s before. In the last Rolex Swan Cup, we competed against 20 boats and that already provided lots of excitement. So I have a feeling that with 10 extra boats we will have some rather thrilling starts and mark roundings. The fleet includes many veterans of this class and some new entries, producing an interesting and unpredictable mix.” Regarding his expectations, Ferragamo hopes to do well and is adamant that his crew will do its best, however he believes that “This regatta will be more challenging than Key West, as I believe that American boats do better in the US and European boats perform well in Europe – in any sport, competing on your home grounds is a key factor to success.” Bellicosa’s crew is the same one that competed at the Swan 45 Worlds held in Key West last January with the exception of two sailors. Although Ferragamo doesn’t have a favourite condition, he would not mind moderate to strong winds: “In Key West our team did really well with strong winds and, provided I don’t mess up by broaching the boat, we should do well in such conditions.”

Another entry to watch closely among the Swan 45 fleet, will be Stefano Polti’s Mintaka from Italy, winner, as part of Team Sardegna, of the Sardinia Rolex Cup/ISAF Offshore Team World Championship Trophy held in Porto Cervo last June.

The competition among the Swan 601 One-Design fleet is also expected to be fierce. Pre-race favourite Moneypenny, owned and helmed by American Jim Swartz, boasts a very talented and experienced crew which includes Round the World Race and America’s Cup veterans Kimo Worthington and Dee Smith and accomplished offshore and grand prix sailor Mark Rudiger. The team has already spent a few days training and Dee Smith feels he’s ready for the first gun to fire: “We arrived in Porto Cervo a few days ago and have been preparing for the regatta, spending several hours on the water each day. It is such a beautiful location, the team spirit is great and we are ready to race. The 601 Class will be competitive as there are some brilliant sailors onboard all of the yachts taking part – it could really be anybody’s race.”

Indeed, Leonardo Ferragamo’s Cuordileone will prove a tough competitor, with sailing legend Paul Cayard calling the tactics. Sir Peter Ogden’s Spirit of Jethou will also be on the starting line of the Swan 601 fleet, along with Torben Tornquist’s Artemis, which lists Russell Coutts amongst its crew.

Four new Swan 100s will be making their debut at the Swan Rolex Cup, including Fantasticaaa from Italy, which just competed in the Maxi Yacht Rolex Cup, and will therefore vie for the Combined Maxi-Swan Prize for the best performing Swan competing in both the Maxi Yacht Rolex Cup and the Rolex Swan Cup. Other Swans eligible for this trophy include Flying Dragon (ITA).

Full Article at www.regattanews.com

Skiff sailing is sailing on the edge–sailing fast from the trapeze, on a plane upwind and down. Every mistake is quickly rewarded by a capsize. ts “Senior Division” is for boats with a combined skipper and crew age >50–not an old person’s game.

But at the 29er Nationals, hosted by the Cabrillo Beach YC, Bay Area sailing families enjoyed great success. On day one, skipper John Heineken and crew Matt Noble dominated the fleet, convincingly winning every race. Danny Cayard and Max Binstock finished the day in second place, while John’s sister, Erika and their dad, Paul Heineken, sailed well enough to lead the last race around one entire lap of the course, before the inevitable capsize. On returning to the dock, Paul, a 60 year old physician, injured his knee such that he couldn’t sail on day two.

Having watched the day’s fun from a spectator boat, Danny’s dad, Paul Cayard, jumped into the fray. He volunteered to borrow sailing gear and step into the front of Erika’s 29er. This was a major leap of faith, as it was Erika’s second sailing regatta ever, and Paul Cayard had witnessed her first regatta last month at the Columbia River Gorge where there had been no shortage of capsizes.

On day two the wind again reached 12-20 kts, enough to support Paul’s 200 lb on the trapeze wire. After a number of “teabags” and capsizes, the new father-daughter team found the front of the fleet, consistently rounding the weather mark near Erika’s brother John and Paul’s son Danny. The weather mark rounding bear-away and kite-launch had the excitement of a sailboat race combined with sibling and parental rivalry at its best.

Hopefully, other parent-child teams will experience the thrill of skiff sailing while competing together, although few new skiff sailors are likely to have the on-the-water coaching experience that Erika enjoyed.

Final standings:

1st John Heineken and Matt Noble

2nd Danny Cayard and Max Binstock

1st Woman Skipper and Senior Boat: Erika Heineken with crew Paul Heineken and Paul Cayard

The 29er is the junior trainer for the Olympic 49er, and will be one of the classes sailed in the Volvo Youth Sailing ISAF World Championship at Kingston, Ontario, Canada on July 12-21, 2007.