Another difficult day today with the wind. There was a light westerly breeze from the Mistral to the west which eventually gave way to a moderate easterly breeze from the low pressure just to our south. Around 1230 we got our start. Eric Doyle our tactician wanted the right so we started at the committee boat and the wind in fact went right for the first half of the windward leg. We were looking quite strong there until the wind went 20 left. Then we tacked under Kookaburra II and the fleet trouped out to the right. We burned off KZ5 of Edgar Kato but KZ3 with the Grael brothers got a bit stronger on us. There was a fair amount of swapping sides amongst the fleet. Finally up near the top the wind filled from the right and Kookaburra II led us into the mark by a couple of lengths then KZ 3 and KZ5 followed.

Down the run we managed to gybe inside of Kookaburra II on the final gybe to the leeward mark and round first. We held on starboard out of the gate with Kookaburra while the others were forced to the right. We were slightly reaching, with a handy lead coming into the windward mark for the second time only to have the wind completely die. The boats came from behind with a 50 degree left shift so we were broad reaching into the windward mark. KZ 3 with the Grael Brothers got around first just inside of Kookaburra II then us on Kiwi Magic on the outside. But because the offset leg was now a tight reach on (port”!!!…) we had no wind and even KZ5 rolled us.

My demeanor was too goo right then. I was pretty impressed with the skill of the other teams to the point of ranting about “luck” or something like that. Anyway, Eric Doyle kept his cool and was saying “it’s a long race, lets hang in there.” All I could see was the first two boats tight reaching for the finish line. (Steam coming out of my ears at this point). Sure enough, the wind died where KZ3 and KZ5 were and Kookaburra II and us on Kiwi Magic did the end around.

So at the finish line it was Kookaburra II of Prada Racing team, with James Spithill on the wheel, followed by KZ7 of Bill Koch, then KZ3 Wright on White (Grael and Grael), then KZ5, Hissar, of Edgar Kato with Brad Reed on the helm and Morgan Reeser calling tactics. KA8 was fifth and French Kiss was MIA.

I forgot to mention that through all this, it was pouring down rain and lightening. They were not out shooting brochure photos for the Cote d?Azur today.

As we waited for the rest of the modern and classic fleets to finish, the lightening increased so the committee decided we had seen the best of it for the day and sent us in.

Tomorrow they will try for 3 races. I have not seen the forecast but it has to be better than today.



Too much wind today. With the Mistral blowing 40 knots just to the west of Cannes, a strong downpour of rain and a swirling wind blowing between 10 and 25 knots and shifting from Northwest to Northeast and back, the committee decided to keep the fleet at the dock today.

When you think about the time and effort that everyone put in to be here it is sad when you get a group of boats together and can’t race. I feel particularily bad for the owners. I guess that is why we have serries of races in our sport!

Not a good day for us on the Kiwi Magic today. We had a 5th and a 4th and are currently 5th over all in the grand prix division out of 6 boats.

The wind was light again this morning and after a 1 hour postponement, the first race finally got underway in 7 knots. We wanted the right and started at the committee boat and protected the right up the first windward leg. The right was good but we had gone too far and over stood. Kookaburra II was first around the first mark and all boats were still close. Then down at the leeward gate we had a bit of trouble with the rounding and got forced to tack toward the left. Wright on White, the Brazilian boat, KZ3, owned by Roger Wright with Torben Grael as tactician and his brother Lars as helmsman, was second at that point and went out to the right, got a massive lift and won the race easily. At the same time, KZ 5, Hissar, owned by Edgar Kato of the New York Yacht Club, went very well on the left side of the course and got to the second windward mark second. Kookaburra, owned by Patrizio Berteli and skippered by James Spithill, had been in the lead but arrived 4th and we onboard Kiwi Magic, also racing for the New York Yacht Club, got to the top mark 5th. In the middle of it all in third was KA 8, South Australia owned by Lionel Pean and racing for France. In 6th all the way around was French Kiss with her original helmsman, Marc Pajot on the helm. The boats finished the first race in that order.

Before we could start the second race, the race committee had to relocate the starting line to the west in front of Mandelieu which took an hour or more. Finally the race got underway around 1530 in 10 knots of wind and the left was hugely favored. Torben Grael onboard Wright on White figured it out best and aggressively went after the left end of the starting line. Hissar was next up from W on W and then us. Meanwhile, Kookaburra II started on port and went right. We could not hold our height against Hissar and were forced to go right after a few minutes. The left was hugely favored and the Brazilians had a big lead at the first mark and never looked back. Hissar was comfortably in second, then KA8, South Australia, then us then Kookaburra, and finally French Kiss. At the leeward gate, South Australia had a big problem and dropped way back. We had a good battle with Kookaburra II up the second beat and eventually forced them off to the right and split left. Unfortunately, we got too much of a good thing and over stood the windward mark and that let Kookaburra II in ahead of us. Things got a bit squirrelly down the last run but not enough for us to pass. So the order of finish was Wright on White, Hissar, Kookaburra, Kiwi Magic, South Australia, French Kiss.

Tomorrow two races are planned and the wind should be a bit stronger.

For more results go to

Today the second day of the Pre Worlds regatta and two races were scheduled. The wind was a bit more promising at the start of the first race, but half way down the final run it died completely again. For the first part of the race, Kookaburra II, Kiwi Magic, and KZ3 were all very even and swapping positions. The racing was very close and exciting. At the finish line, Kookaburra II won with Kiwi Magic second. KZ3 withdrew when the wind died. There was no second race as the owners meeting was scheduled for 1600 and no races could be started after 1500.

Overall for the pre-worlds, Bill Koch’s team on Kiwi Magic won the regatta and the Centennial Cup which was a special race yesterday. These races were the Society Nautique de Geneve’s annual regatta. The funny thing is that, as far as I could see, there was no Swiss boat in the regatta.

The summary after these first few days is that the 4 grand prix boats, Kookaburra, KZ7, KZ5 and KZ3 are very even in 6 knots and under and it was more the shifts and positioning that made the difference. Tomorrow we should be joined by 2 more grand prix boats, French Kiss and South Australia. All these boats will built for the 1987 Cup in Fremantle. There are about 15 other 12’s racing with vintages from about 1945 to 1983.

Slowly as the week goes on, we should get a bit more wind. The 12 Meter World Championship starts tomorrow and continues through Saturday. Also tomorrow, the Regate Royale will start with all the beautiful classic boats.

I found some official results for this regatta is at:

I have joined Bill Koch’s team here in Cannes for the 12 Meter World Championship next week. Yesterday was my first day on a 12 meter since 1987. Talk about a time warp. Of course the wind has been light here in Cannes so that makes the sensation of sailing a 12 meter even more distinctive.

Relative to the current class of America’s Cup yachts, the predecessor class weighs about 7 tons more, is 5 meters shorter, is wider, has 1 meter less draft and about half the sail area. Does that sound underpowered? Well in 4 knots if wind, it really feels like it.

There are about 20 12 meters here. Everything from 1945 vintage boats to the last ones built for Fremantle. Bill Koch owns Kiwi Magic and this boat along with the likes of Kookaburra, South Australia, KZ3 and KZ5, races in the grand prix division. Then the boats like Freedom, Courageous, etc. race in the modern division and then there are the classics. These boats have pretty lines and are majestic to look at. Most of the older wooden ones are in perfect shape and they are truly beautiful!

Today and tomorrow we are racing the “pre-worlds”, a tune up regatta. In fact today’s race was SNG’s “annual regatta”. SNG is the club from which Alinghi challenges for the America’s Cup and under the deed of gift, they must hold an annual regatta on the sea. Today’s race was called the Centennial Race and by chance we managed to win it. It was an extremely light air event, with the wind rarely getting over 5 knots. Also the course was a coastal course so we were essentially doing a lap of the bay. The wind died and the second to last buoy, so the committee spared us some pain by cutting off the last 3 miles of the race.

Tomorrow there will be two “windward-leeward” races and Tuesday the World Championship starts. Also starting on Tuesday and racing through Saturday will be the Regate Royal with about 70 vintage yachts of all sizes and designs. These boats are beautiful and lie somewhere between a piece of furniture and a historical item. The fleet moves onto St. Tropez the week after this for the grand finale of the season.

Among the current AC names racing; Torben Grael and his brother Lars are sailing KZ3 and James Spithill and the Prada team are sailing Kookaburra 2.

I’ll give you some more accurate information starting tomorrow.

Russell Coutts and Paul Cayard, and sports promoter João Lagos, have joined forces to create a professional fleet -racing circuit in one-design 70-foot catamarans.

Feb 8, 2007

By Stuart Streuli

However, the rumor had gotten stale of late. Had this idea ended up on the scrapheap like so many others before it?

Today, in Lisbon, Portugal, Coutts, Cayard, and Portuguese sports promoter João Lagos announced the creation of the World Sailing League, a traveling circuit of fleet races sailed in one-design 70-foot catamarans with a $2 million prize going to the series champion. Related Resources

As they promised, this league more than just a vision. Lagos, a former Davis Cup tennis player for Portugal, and his company Lagos Sports will provide both expertise in event management and the necessary funding to build a fleet of 14 catamarans – 12 teams are scheduled to compete. With the boats built, getting sponsors for the league, venues, and individual teams – Coutts and Cayard will each enter one – should be significantly easier, though there are obviously plenty of hurdles and crucial decisions left before the first start in 2009.

The prototype, designed by French multihull gurus Mark van Peteghem and Vincent Lauriot Prévost, will be launched later this year to allow enough time for testing and refinement. The fleet will be built in 2008 with the circuit kicking the following year.

Prior to the official announcement, we spoke with Cayard about this new venture.

OK, time for a little sales pitch. We know it’s fleet racing in 70-foot catamarans. Can you add a little more color to this picture?

I think what excites me about it is big, exciting, high-tech boats – probably the highest tech sailing machines that exist in the world – fleet racing close to shore, close to the public; and having a circuit that goes around the world, eight or 10 different venues, annually repeating those venues and getting a constituency that follows that circuit.

The rumors of this joint venture have been floating around for over two years. Has this been a steady development process or full of stops and starts?

It’s probably been a little bit of stop and go to be very honest and that’s really why were making the announcement, finally it’s a real go. That’s really because the concept that Russell and I have been working on has met with a commercial partner, which is Lagos Sports, who has the knowledge and experience in promoting sporting events as well as the resource to put behind the project. So it’s really exciting for Russ and I to have the confidence to go public. A lot of people were giving us a hard time for being a little coy about the whole thing, but that’s just who we are, we didn’t want to say anything official or public until we really knew we had the ability to go forward with it.

How did you decide on a 70 -foot catamaran?

We wanted something that was fast, for sure. We want to have exciting sailing, Russ and I are looking to have some fun and exciting sailing, but we think [using a catamaran is] important as far as growing the sport and as far as an event that will be attractive to young sailors coming up, sailors coming out of the Olympic Games like Robert Scheidt or the Tornado sailors. And we wanted it to be big and we wanted it to be able to sail close to shore. So we went through the evolutions of monohull, then monohull canting keel, and there were limitations with each of those designs and really there were some costs with some of those concepts.What we have with a catamaran is a very light, fast, powerful boat that can sail very close to shore, doesn’t have the depth problems that a canting keel has. The more I think about a catamaran, it’s a little bit non-traditional for those of us who have been sailing for 40 years, but my guess is it’s where the worlds is going in sailing, a little bit like snowboarding has in some way taken over from skiing.

How do you get the exciting boat-on-boat action that is so common with monohulls, but less common with cats where tacking or jibing is so expensive in terms of boatspeed and boatlengths?

Well, another feature is we want to have the races pretty short, targeting 30 to 40 minutes, at the most, for a race. So on a given day’s sailing, you’ll have three or four heats. I think it’s great, if the crew screws up on this thing, it’s going to cost them the race. There are big speed deltas between a boat that is tacking or jibing or one that’s going straight. I think that will lead to some excitement coming down to the finish, if one boat has to make a jibe and the other is shooting straight in, it will be quite exciting. We like all the features of the cat.

How many crew do you anticipate for this boat?

We’re thinking eight. It’s quite possible that you won’t ever put up or drop a sail because the spinnaker is going to be more like a Code 0 – the boat’s go so fast that the apparent wind is forward – they just roll those things up when they get to the leeward mark. We think eight people. It’s all part of the equation, to try to have this great racing at what we think is a reasonable cost. Cost control is an element of our concept, so the one-design boat works with that and the fewer crew works with that.

Why make the leap from event participant to event organizer?

Well, Russell and I are the first two guys signed up to skipper boats in this new league. We’re going to have our own teams; it’s a lot of fun, like last year with the Pirates. To be honest, having a team and being a team leader is as much fun as the sailing. So we’re going to have our teams and this racing is going to be exciting. Some sailing I’ve done is exciting because of the competition, but not exciting in and of itself. We’re still going to be competitors and we’re looking forward to that.

If this event succeeds the way you hope, with 12 teams racing, with numerous stops each year, can it do so without negatively impacting the America’s Cup or the Volvo Ocean Race?

We have our concept and our vision and I think we see the whole sporting landscape as our competitor. We see ourselves as actually quite different to events that exist. We’re not trying to copy anybody or take anybody’s place. This is going to be the world championship or grand prix circuit for large-boat fleet racing; that’s something that doesn’t exist right now. Those other two events you mentioned, one of them is an ocean-racing event, and one of them is a match-racing event. I don’t particularly see us as displacing anything.

What sort of commitments from corporate sponsorship world to get this thing off the ground?

That is really what we’re announcing, that it is off the ground. One of the big hurdles in this project, as you can imagine, was to get the boats underwritten. They’re the critical path in the timeline, it’s really a two- or two and a half-year project to design, build the prototype, test the prototype, and get the fleet built. It’s a huge time element. Sponsors of teams, maybe they put the money up a year ahead, but not three years ahead. Having Lagos Sports involved, and their expertise with the commercial side, but also having their support to underwrite the fleet of boats is critical and that’s what we announcing tomorrow. As the project goes forward the teams will have their sponsors and the league will have its sponsors, and the venues will have their sponsors. Those are business arrangements that will be made as we move forward. Those are more typical. But the news really is that the project is off and running because of the partnership between Coutts, Cayard, and Lagos Sports.

In the press release you mention trying other forms of racing outside of fleet racing, time trials and slalom racing among others. What sort of tricks do you have up your sleeve for this circuit?

It is going to be a fleet-racing circuit. There are probably some rumors out there but I’m not going to get into it in this call; but we are looking at some other formats that could be both exciting for the sailors as well as for the public. One of the fundamental ideas of the concept is to bring sailing to the public. That is where the fleet racing, and the shorter courses, and the really exciting boats, and the national flags, all those are elements that you don’t have to be a sailing expert to get interested in.

For more on the circuit,

During a recent stopover in Rome, on his way to compete in the Rolex Middle Sea Race, Cayard took time out to try the new Zegna I Jacket.

That evening, Cayard was also presented with a prestigious award for his achievements in the sport of sailing, at the Audi Sports Award gala dinner at Cinecitta.

Virgin Gorda, BVI — Paul Cayard and Russell Coutts finished overlapped in the first race of the fleet racing portion of the Bitter End Yacht Club’s Pro-Am Regatta, and from that point on, the other eight skippers seemed to fade a bit as the event took on the appearance of the “Paul and Russell Show.” Sailing with crews composed entirely of guests of BEYC, the two seemed right at home in the IC 24s used for the event — a J/24 that has been modified with a Melges 24-type cockpit. Cayard’s worst finish was a second place, which ultimately provided him with a seven-point edge over Coutts. Ken Read missed the first four races because of airline problems, but the judges awarded him average points, which moved him into the third spot on the podium. The event continues on Thursday with the top four Masters Division skippers from the fleet racing portion of the event (Butch Ulmer, Keith Musto, Rod Johnstone & Bruce Kirby) and the top four Junior Division skippers (Cayard, Coutts, Read & Dave Perry) tangling in the match racing phase of the BEYC Pro-Am Regatta

See the Bitter End Yacht Club Pro Am Regatta, the IRC East Coast Championship, plus an interview with bowman Jerry
Kirby online at

October 20, 2006

The sailors due to start the Rolex Middle Sea Race tomorrow morning from Malta’s beautiful Marsamxett Harbour are an intriguing mix of the professional and Corinthian. At the big boat end of the fleet, sailing aboard the big Maxi yachts are a host of ocean-racing veterans, including five skippers from the recent Volvo Ocean Race – Mike Sanderson, Paul Cayard, S

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.