Volvo Ocean Race ‘obsessive’ Bouwe Bekking with Team Brunel back for an eighth shot at glory DownloadStefan Coppers / Team Brunel / Volvo Ocean Race DownloadStefan Coppers/Team Brunel/Volvo Ocean Race DownloadAinhoa Sanchez / Volvo Ocean RaceBouwe Bekking, the most experienced sailor in Volvo Ocean Race history, will return to skipper the seventh confirmed team in the 2017-18 editionBouwe Bekking, the most experienced sailor in Volvo Ocean Race history, will return to skipper the seventh confirmed team in the 2017-18 edition – and give himself another chance at claiming an elusive first victory at the eighth attempt.No one has sailed more miles in the Volvo Ocean Race than Bekking, who made his first appearance as a crewmember on Philips Innovator back in 1985-86.More than 30 years on, and now aged 54, Bekking’s Volvo Ocean Race obsession has only intensified.Team backers include Brunel, the Dutch-based global project management, recruitment and consultancycompany, and its founder Jan Brand. Brunel are Volvo Ocean Race veterans themselves, having had their first involvement in 1997-98.The theme of the 2017-18 campaign is ‘Engineering the Future.’ – an initiative of a consortium of Dutch companies, including Brunel, Abel, Royal Huisman and EY.“The team’s goal is to accelerate the next generation,” said Bekking. “We win by bringing together experience and talent, and creating opportunities for the next generation.” Brunel founder Jan Brand added: “Together, we are able to define new rules and possibilities for the future. Team Brunel empowers the new generation to take the helm.”With four months to go before the start of the Volvo Ocean Race 2017-18, the starting grid is almost full.The other confirmed entries are team AkzoNobel (skippered by Simeon Tienpont), Dongfeng Race Team (Charles Caudrelier), MAPFRE (Xabi Fernández), Vestas11th Hour Racing (Charlie Enright), Team Sun Hung Kai/Scallywag (David Witt) and Turn The Tide On Plastic (Dee Caffari).The return of Brunel means that for the first time in the race’s history, four major team sponsors are back for a second successive edition. As well as Brunel, Vestas, Dongfeng and MAPFRE are all back after competing in the most recent edition in 2014-15. The race will start from Alicante on 22 October, with a maximum of eight One Design Volvo Ocean 65 racing yachts in the fleet. Seven of the boats have undergone an extensive refit process after being raced in 2014-15. The eighth is a brand new yacht, built for team AkzoNobel.Bekking has been a runner-up in two previous editions but victory has always been just beyond his grasp.His first experience of ‘so near but yet so far’ came on debut in 1985-86, when he finished second onboard Philips Innovator, skippered by fellow Dutchman Dirk Nauta.In 1993-94 he was on Winston, in 1997-98 he was back with Merit Cup and four years later he competed with Amer Sports One.His first opportunity to skipper a team in the event came in 2005-06 with movistar – a race that ultimately came to an end when he and his crew were forced to abandon ship in the Atlantic.Undeterred, he came back to guide Telefónica Blue to a podium finish in 2008-09 and skippered second-placed Brunel in the most recent edition in 2014-15.“In 2014-15 we had a very good result, a result I’m proud of, but I believe we can make further huge steps based on the experience we now have with the One Design boat,” he said earlier this year.The 2017-18 edition will see the teams cover 45,000 nautical miles in a race that features a total of 12 Host Cities and will finish in The Hague, Netherlands at the end of June.
BRYD announce carbon racer
23 Jun 2017
Starboard view of BRYD’S BR31
Ben Rogerson Yacht Design (BRYD) has announced plans for its new carbon racing sports boat, aimed at HP30 Class and IRC/ORC sailors.
Designed for a maximum crew of seven, the BR31 is designed for sailors seeking performance racing at a lower cost than running a 40-footer, yet offering similar features and feel.
“I wanted to make this level of sailing more accessible and move things forward from the typical plastic racer,” explained Ben Rogerson, BRYD founder. “We have developed a viable new design for the HP30 class which promises to be a race winner.”
The boats will be British-built and incorporate a fabricated fin as standard. Options for owners include an adjustable forestay, standard or high modulus mast, string take down systems and deflectors.
Mr Rogerson invested in and developed BRYD’s own in-house hull design, velocity prediction and optimisation software with technology partners Formflow to integrate Fine Marine’s Reynolds Averaged Navier Stokes based computational fluid dynamics simulation software.
Changes at Doyle Sails
26 Jun 2017
Founder Robbie Doyle and CEO Mike Sanderson onboard J Class yacht Shamrock V in Bermuda
Doyle Sails New Zealand is to take ownership of Doyle International from July 1. The company will also take a controlling interest in the Doyle Salem loft and Doyle Sails Europe (UK).
The announcement marks the start of a new era, said Doyle International CEO Mike Sanderson.
“This new strategic direction has been under development for some time and we are all very excited about the potential ahead of us,” he said. “We are a group of like-minded, passionate individuals and we are looking to maximise the potential of the Doyle Group and the individuals within it.
“Our sport and marketplace is going through exciting and fast-paced change and we are in a perfect position to build on the strong foundation of the Doyle brand whilst moving forward in a new direction to meet the changing needs of our customers.”
Doyle International has also announced the new roles of Jez Fanstone as corporate manager and Terry Nicholas as business development/chief financial officer.
The brand Doyle International will be managed by Mr Fanstone and Mr Nicholas together. This is the first time the group has invested in such centralised management support roles – believing that bringing in professionals to focus on the management and development of the overall brand will deliver benefits to the entire loft network, customers and the business as a whole.
Robbie Doyle, Doyle Sails founder, will continue with his primary focus on managing superyacht and special projects.
Custom lifejacket for VOR sailors
26 Jun 2017
Spinlock has designed a custom lifejacket for the VOR
Spinlock is to be an official supplier to the Volvo Ocean Race, after designing a custom lifejacket for the 2017-18 edition.
The link-up is part of a technical partnership scheme that has seen the race work with the sailing and marine industry to develop new and innovative products capable of withstanding some of the toughest conditions on the planet.
This edition of the race will see the fleet cover three times more Southern Ocean miles than recent editions with Spinlock’s new VOR edition lifejacket worn by all sailors in the fleet.
“It’s exciting to be able to push the boundaries with a product like this, in collaboration with the Volvo Ocean Race,” said Myles Uren, product manager at Spinlock.
“The speed, the risks and the loads on the boats in the Volvo Ocean Race have increased massively over the years, yet it’s the same crew that are racing them – so it’s our job to take our products and innovate in order to try and help them out as much as possible.”
One of the biggest challenges for the designers was to create a lifejacket durable enough to withstand the Southern Ocean slamming, but lightweight and comfortable enough to encourage the sailors to actually wear it, around the clock, for eight months.
“Until now, lifejackets have often been designed for the recreational sailor, resulting in often cumbersome and limiting design factors, so it’s fantastic to see Spinlock’s enthusiasm to research and design a tailor-made product meeting the specific needs of the competitive offshore sailor,” explained Abby Ehler, logistics manager at the VOR boatyard.
Along with the lifejackets, each Volvo Ocean 65 will also be equipped with Spinlock lifejacket harnesses, safety lines, carry equipment packs and PLB/MOB devices.
Golden hat-trick as World Cup Series Final concludes
Written by RYA | 11 June 2017
GBR crews finish World Cup Final in Santander with three golds, two silver and three bronze medals
British sailors wrapped up their World Cup Series Final with an eight-medal haul as racing in Santander drew to a close on Sunday (11 June).
Gold for James Peters-Fynn Sterritt and bronze for Dylan Fletcher-Stuart Bithell in the 49er, a British 2-3 in the Nacra 17 from John Gimson-Anna Burnet and Ben Saxton-Katie Dabson and a silver medal for 49er FX duo Charlotte Dobson-Saskia Tidey on Saturday was capped with a further three medals in Sunday’s final medal races.
In a demonstration of 470 prowess, Hannah Mills and Eilidh McIntyre made it a second gold for the British Sailing Team. Having started the day in the top spot and with a 13-point cushion, the class act showed that despite being a scratch crew, they had what it took to leave the rest of the fleet in the dust.
But it wasn’t all plain sailing as a shift in the final race forced Mills-McIntyre to tack on to port coming off the start-line. The pair quickly locked into battle with Dutch duo Afrodite Zegers-Anneloes Van Veen, who started the day second, as they looked to defend gold.
Once round the first mark, their focus turned to securing the best medal race result, eventually crossing the line third, to see them the crowned runaway winners, an impressive 19 points ahead of the Dutch pair.
For Mills, this was her first 470 event since winning Rio Gold last summer, and despite training and competing in the 49er FX so far this season, the sailor proved unstoppable as the week went on.
Mills admits she’s feeling ‘relieved’ after securing gold: “Although we had a good points gap going into this medal race, I think that also adds pressure as everyone almost expects you to win so to come away and pull it off is a relief!”
With America’s Cup inspiration in full flow, there was motive behind a defensive first beat for the British pair.
“The conditions were so tricky, it felt the safest option was to actually take the Dutch girls and try and practice a bit of a match race. You don’t often get the opportunity when you’re far enough ahead to guarantee a silver so we thought we would see what we could do and it pulled off quite nicely!” Mills elaborated.
McIntyre reflected on their week: “We had no pressure coming into it [the event], a new team figuring things out, but we had a speed edge.”
“It’s pretty cool, we did three days training before the event, so it’s really good but sailing with a gold medallist helps though, doesn’t it?” laughed McIntyre.
Fellow British Sailing Team crew Amy Seabright and Anna Carpenter finished the medal race ninth to see them end their week seventh overall.
It has a been closely fought battle at the front of the Finn fleet throughout the event as three boats aimed to top the podium, with just a few points separating the sailors going into the final title clash.
An incredibly tense finale saw the medal colours constantly change as Brits Ben Cornish and Ed Wright, and Hungarian Zsombor Berecz fought tooth-and-nail for every last place.
A nail-biting end to medal race action saw Cornish penalised for a rule infringement and it looked like it might be over, but in a dramatic turn of events Berecz was also forced to take a penalty turn resulting in Cornish crossing the line two places ahead of his rival, with it snatching gold.
Cornish, elated and relieved, described the intense last race: “That was an exciting race! I’m sure for everyone watching as well, with a lot of lead changes, a lot of times when people were winning and then they weren’t.
“The start was key, with a lot of people being over the line and actually I wasn’t aware until the end that I wasn’t one of them. It’s hard in the battle as you don’t really know where you are. The last run was really important, Ed had just got ahead of me at the final windward mark, but I managed to hook into a bit more wind and got round him.
“It was a great race and a great effort from those boys [Berecz and Wright].”
“I’ve had quite a good season so far, and what I really needed was the gold so it’s great to come away with the win,” reflected Cornish, who made in a third British World Cup Final triumph.
There was disappointment for Ed Wright as he was unable to upgrade his third place in a challenging final race. Wright rounds off his event with the bronze medal, clinching an eighth British Sailing Team medal. Compatriot Henry Wetherell also contested the medal race finishing seventh overall.
Elsewhere in the final day’s action, Nick Thompson started fifth in the 10-boat Laser line up, however with a large point deficit, it would have always been a long-shot for a British medal. Thompson sailed a superb race to take the final event bullet, but with the medal contenders snapping at his heels, the Rio Olympian was unable to capitalise and remained fifth overall.
Starting in tenth and outside of medal contention, Lorenzo Chiavarini in an all or nothing final Laser race, risked the right-hand first beat in a bid to climb the scoreboard. A sterling effort and a third place finish resulted in Chiavarini advancing to eighth, whilst Michael Beckett wrapped up his week in ninth. Martin Wrigley and James Taylor finished sixth in Men’s 470 event.
Spinlock creates custom lifejacket for toughest race on water
Volvo Ocean Race
Spinlock will be an official race supplier to the Volvo Ocean Race, after designing a unique and custom lifejacket for the 2017-18 edition
Spinlock will be an official race supplier to the Volvo Ocean Race, after designing a unique and custom lifejacket for the 2017-18 edition. The link-up is part of a Technical Partnership Scheme which has seen the Race work closely with the sailing and marine industry leaders to develop new and innovative products capable of withstanding the toughest conditions on the planet.
And with the 2017-18 fleet set to race three times more Southern Ocean miles than in recent editions when it sets off from Alicante on 22 October, reliability has never been so important.
Spinlock’s new Volvo Ocean Race edition lifejacket will be worn by all sailors in the fleet as they race 45,000 nautical miles in search of the trophy.
As award-winning designers and manufacturers of rope-holding equipment and personal safety products, Spinlock knows all too well the importance of solid design and durability – and as the toughest test of a team in professional sport, the Volvo Ocean Race proves an invaluable real-life test bench for their products.
“It’s exciting to be able to push the boundaries with a product like this, in collaboration with the Volvo Ocean Race,” said Myles Uren, Product Manager at Spinlock.
“The speed, the risks and the loads on the boats in the Volvo Ocean Race have increased massively over the years, yet it’s the same crew that are racing them – so it’s our job to take our products and innovate in order to try and help them out as much as possible.
The new lifejacket was designed and developed based on extensive feedback and testing by Volvo Ocean Race veterans, including new Turn the Tide on Plastic skipper Dee Caffari and two-time Race winner Phil Harmer – and has since been successfully tested by many of the 2017-18 crews in training.
“Safety is a critical element in the Volvo Ocean Race, and not only does personal safety equipment need to meet specific requirements, it needs to be functional and comfortable to wear,” explained Abby Ehler, Logistics Manager at the Volvo Ocean Race Boatyard, who was also instrumental in coordinating the development of this new Spinlock product.
“Spinlock have worked with us to develop products through feedback, testing and experience, to ensure that they are both technically efficient and unobtrusive for the Volvo Ocean Race’s world-class sailors.”
The biggest challenge for the designers? To create a lifejacket durable enough to withstand mile upon mile of Southern Ocean slamming, but lightweight and comfortable enough to encourage the sailors to actually wear it, around the clock, for eight months.
“Until now, lifejackets have often been designed for the recreational sailor, resulting in often cumbersome and limiting design factors, so it’s fantastic to see Spinlock’s enthusiasm to research and design a tailor-made product meeting the specific needs of the competitive offshore sailor,” continued Abby.
Spinlock’s CEO Chris Hill said: “We are delighted to be joining our fellow industry leaders as Official Race Supplier. The Volvo Ocean Race sailors and shore support have all expressed an overwhelming desire to improve the lifejacket used and taking their feedback and detailed requirements into consideration, we are now well equipped to take our knowledge to develop the next generation in personal protection.”
Along with the custom lifejackets for the crew on board, each Volvo Ocean 65 will also be equipped with Spinlock lifejacket harnesses, safety lines, carry equipment packs and PLB/MOB devices when the Race begins on October 22nd 2017.
MaxSea’s TIMEZERO to be used in Clipper race
16 Jun 2017
TIMEZERO’s software will be used by race skippers and crew to assist them in finding the fastest routes during the race
TIMEZERO by MaxSea has been named as official navigation software for the Clipper 2017-18 Round the World Yacht Race for the second year running.
TIMEZERO’s software provides weather routing for offshore racing and will be used by race skippers and crew to assist them in finding the fastest routes during the race and to monitor the progress and distance covered by other competitors.
Clipper race founder and chairman, Sir Robin Knox-Johnston, said: “We are pleased to announce that all the fleet will be equipped with the latest TIMEZERO by MaxSea software. This will enable the boats to download the weather forecasts and then calculate the best choice of routes from that advanced information. Having used TIMEZERO by MaxSea myself I know how invaluable it is and frankly it is not possible to race effectively these days without it.”
The TIMEZERO technology integrates a chart engine where electronic marine charts, 3D data and satellite photos are mixed through photofusion technology.
The 11-month race will cover 40,000 nautical miles, beginning on 20 August this year and finishing on 28 July 2018.
Volvo Ocean Race switches to two-year cycle
19 Jun 2017
The 2017-18 edition starts in Alicante, Spain on 22 October. Image courtesy of Volvo Ocean Race – Facebook
The Volvo Ocean Race will switch from a three to two-year cycle after the 2017-18 edition.
The change is expected to provide more continuity and commercial value for sailing teams, sponsors and host cities.
Race CEO, Mark Turner, explained: “The shorter cycle means we could shorten each edition by a few months from the current 8-9 month format, but nonetheless go to more markets in total over each period of four years and two races.”
The race will visit North America, South America, Australasia, China and at least five major European markets once every other edition. Race organisers believe this will make it easier for two-cycle sponsor commitments to be made to teams before fully detailed final routes are fixed.
The 2017-18 edition starts in Alicante, Spain, on October 22 and finishes in The Hague, Netherlands, at the end of June 2018.
The race is committed to two more starts after the 2017-18 edition.
In its early years, the race was run every four years and had three stops, while now its route takes in a total of 12 host cities.
Starts and or finishes outside Europe and a non-stop leg around Antarctica may be introduced in the future.
Bénéteau to launch Figaro 3 prototype
19 Jun 2017
The infusion of the hull © Jean-Dominique Billaud
In the wake of the Solitaire du Figaro, Groupe Bénéteau Racing Division is creating the successor to the Figaro Bénéteau 2.
The prototype for the ‘very first one-design foiling monohull’ Figaro Bénéteau 3, is on target for launch in July.
“In terms of timing, we’re pretty much on track, give or take a couple of weeks,” said Marc Vaillier, head of the programme at Groupe Bénéteau.
The first sea trials and balance procedures will shortly be carried out on the prototype’s hull before mass production of the one-design foiling monohull gets underway.
During the two month validation period, tests will include the position of the keel in relation to the mast, which will enable the hull structure to be confirmed and the position of the hardware.
The plan is to start production in early October when Bénéteau is seeking to release one or two hulls in advance and keep to a tempo of one design a week. The Figaro Bénéteau 3 is due to replace the Figaro Bénéteau 2 in 2019.
Pogo 36 – High performance with Gallic style
BY ADMIN • APRIL 25, 2017 • OLDER, YACHTS • COMMENTS OFF • 220
As a nation the French have a huge enthusiasm for solo and short-handed long distance racing, with the most successful skippers feted as national sporting heroes. This spills over into their expectations of what makes a good cruising yacht – while the big manufacturers have a wide range of designs that are oriented towards the huge market for charter yachts, there are many smaller French boat builders that incorporate knowledge gained from the racing scene to create outstanding cruising boats.
Typically these are easy to handle, without recourse to complex and expensive electric or hydraulic systems, thanks to top-notch deck layouts and careful planning. Hull and rig design also offer similar speed potential to a conventional cruising yacht that’s 20ft longer. However, these are not stripped out racers – the Pogo 36 for instance, has a fully fitted interior with a high standard of finish and is offered in a lifting keel version that allows for access to small shallow harbours and bays when cruising.
© Adrien Conq
The interior has excellent space and stowage in a three-cabin, single heads layout. The saloon is well lit with windows that provide an almost all round view out, with the keel box on lifting keel versions well concealed beneath the generous saloon table. Deep and efficient fiddles of a size rarely seen on mainstream yachts will stop everything sliding onto the floor at sea and there’s a proper navigation station. This has its own seat that’s designed to be a comfortable spot to take a quick nap if necessary when sailing short handed on long offshore passages.
Demand for this boat has already been enormous, prompting the factory to reschedule production of its five other cruising and short-handed racing models in order to keep the waiting list for a new Pogo 36 to within two years.
Hull length 10.86m
Draught (lifting keel) 1.18-2.95m
Draught (fin keel) 2.1m
Upwind sail area 74sq m
Mainsail 45sq m
Solent jib 39sq m
Asymmetric spinnaker 120sq m
Under sail photos must credit Adrien Conq
Maintenance: Upgrading electronics
MAIB publishes report into Clipper Race deaths
Triple Crown events added to Cowes Week
Lombard’s aluminium blue water cruiser
New fast and comfortable Nordic cruiser
Destination: Varazze, Italy
Seasonal maintenance: Optimising ventilation
Dufour launches top of the range concept
Crushing blow ends world record attempt
Pogo 36 – High performance with Gallic style