Weekly Sailing Digest

Fastnet Challenge Cup

French dominance hasn’t been new for the past two years, and the French teams have retained this dominance once again this year by winning number one rankings in IRC 1, 2, 3 and 4 classes, as well as the Class 40, Two Handed and the IRL overall. American team Cookson won IRC zero, while British team MOD won the Multihull class.

Initially, it seemed as if the big boats were set to take the day, but the way back from Fastnet Rock favored the medium-sized boats. Team Cookson came close to a second victory, though ultimately it couldn’t be so. Nevertheless, Cookson helmsman Ron O’Hanley was delighted. "This is a great race, an iconic race and we have had a great time even if we haven’t won," said O’Hanley. "It was a fantastic start in Cowes - hard to see how you can get 400 boats out of the Solent at the same time! The weather conditions were good, not as light as it was last time and there was no drama coming out of the Solent."

Halfway through the Championship a new contender emerged for the 2017 Fastnet Challenge Cup: Didier Gaudoux’s JND 39 struggled last year in the Brewin Dolphin Commodores’ Cup, but was certainly up to the challenge this year. "We had a fantastic race. We were lucky with the weather. The conditions were good for the team and the crew," said Gaudoux. "From Fastnet Rock to the Scilly Isles was perfect for us - the wind angle, the size of the waves, etc. It was windy and these boats enjoy big waves. We were doing over 20 knots– a new record for us!"

"It took 11 hours to cover 170 miles! We were surprised. We were two to three miles ahead of some good competitors at the Rock and by the Scilly Isles we were 30 miles ahead simply because we were going faster," said Gaudoux.

You can read more about the Fastnet Regatta here.

Photos of Carlo Borlenghi are available here.

Provisional Results

  • IRC Z: 1. Privateer – Cookson 50, Ron O’Hanley (USA); 2. Lady Mariposa – Ker 46, Daniel Hardy (GBR); 3. Bretagne Telecom – Mach 45, Nicolas Groleau (FRA)
  • IRC 1: 1. Lann Ael 2 – JND 39, Didier Gaudoux (FRA); 2. Pata Negra – Lombard 46, Baraka Sailing Team (NED); 3. Ino XXX – HH42, James Neville (GBR)
  • IRC 2: 1. Pintia – J/133, Gilles Fournier / Corinne Migraine (FRA); 2. Lisa – First 44.7, Michael Boyd (IRE); 3. Elke – First 40, Frans and Carla Rodenburg (NED)
  • IRC 3: 1. Dream Pearls – JPK 10.80, Arnaud Delamare and Eric Mordret (FRA); 2. Timeline – JPK 10.80, Marc Alperovitch (FRA); 3. Bellino – Sun Fast 3600, Rob Craigie (GBR)
  • IRC 4: 1. Night and Day – JPK 10.10, Pascal Loison (FRA); 2. Foggy Dew – JPK 10.10, Noel Racine (FRA); 3. Cocody – JPK 10.10, Richard Fromentin (FRA)
  • IRC Two-Handed: 1. Night and Day – JPK 10.10, Pascal and Alexis Loison (FRA); 2. Ajeto! – J/122e, Robin Verhoef and John van der Starre (NED); 3. Bellino – Sun Fast 3600, Rob Craigie and Deb Fish (GBR)
  • VO65: 1. Dongfeng Race Team (CHN) – Charles Caudrelier; 2. MAPFRE (ESP) – Xabi Fernández; 3. Team Brunel (NED) – Bouwe Bekking
  • IMOCA 60: 1. SMA – Paul Meilhat/Gwenole Gahinet (FRA); 2. StMichel-Virbac – Jean-Pierre Dick/ /Yann Eliès (FRA); 3. Malizia – Yacht Club de Monaco - Boris Herrmann/Pierre Casiraghi (MON)
  • Class40: 1. V and B – Maxime Sorel (FRA); 2. Imerys – Phil Sharp (GBR); 3. Campagne de France – Halvard Mabire (FRA) and Miranda Merron (GBR)
  • MOCRA Multihulls: 1. Concise 10 – MOD 70 trimaran, Tony Lawson (GBR); 2. R-six – HH66 catamaran, Robert Szustkowski (POL); 3. Hissy Fit – Dazcat 1495, Simon Baker (GBR)

RC44 Marstrand World Championship

Team Nika has won the RC44 Marstrand World Championship after a dominant performance across the four days of competition. The final day delivered the strongest wind of the week in Sweden, with the north-westerly breeze blowing at 15 knots and with a big, lumpy seaway. Vladimir Prosikhin may not have won any races that day but he steered Nika to a comfortable victory overall, earning back the trophy after having to give it away in 2016.

Race two and three were won by Peninsula Petroleum and Charisma respectively.  In these races, Nika scored a third and a sixth place. Nothing spectacular, but sufficient to remain at the top of the standings after such successful prior days. The two Artemis teams were battling it out between the two of them, but in the end, only the senior team Artemis was the only boat to win a race on each of the four days.  Helmsman Törbjorn Törnqvist had the following to say: “Yes, it was nice to win those races,” smiled Törnqvist, “but we don't do very well in between, that's the problem. We had a great week anyway, I love the sailing conditions and the challenge of the competition.”

While Artemis won the race, Team Ceeref secured the second place and with that also a second place in the overall rankings. Showing slight disappointment, Igor Lah (helm of Team Ceeref) acknowledged team Nika was superior this week. Surely, they will come back fighting once again next year!

Due to two race wins in the previous days, Vladimir Liubomirov took the third podium place in favor of Katusha, who had no race wins. Katusha took fourth place.

So that’s the Worlds over, and now Team Nika takes over the golden wheels from Peninsula Petroleum as the top performing boat from the first three events of the season. However, the other crews will lick their wounds and work out what they need to do steal those golden wheels away from Prosikhin when the fleet next meets a month from now in Cascais, Portugal.

Nord Stream Race 2017

In what must be the king of all inter-club events, the five best sailing clubs from the Baltic countries Germany, Denmark, Sweden, Finland and Russia will be competing this year at the 6th edition of the Nord Stream Race, a 1,000 nautical mile course across the Baltic Sea.Finland and Russia will be competing this year at the 6th edition of the Nord Stream Race, a 1,000 nautical mile course across the Baltic Sea.

The clubs will be fielding teams to sail the brand-new, one-design seriously sweet ClubSwan 50, supplied by the St. Petersburg Yacht Club. Starting August 26, these five crews of 10 will race for eleven days from Kiel, Germany via the Scandinavian cities of Copenhagen, Stockholm and Helsinki to the finish in Saint Petersburg, Russia.

The qualification system for the Nord Stream Race is tied to the National Sailing Leagues, a series of races launched in 2013 to annually determine the “Best Sailing Club of the Year”. The five competing clubs were the 2016 national champions from the five Baltic countries. The crews must all be members of the club they represent, with no more than four of the ten having professional Group 3 status. The Baltic Sea connects millions of sailors and water sportsmen, and it is a mission of the Nord Stream Race to keep the contact between the 50 predominantly young sailors in the foreground.

"Just as we have connected yacht clubs from five different countries with the planning of the boat race course, we want to create a great sense of belonging among the 50 participating sailors," says initiator Vladimir Lubomirov of St. Petersburg Yacht Club. "With this international yacht race, we want to promote the exchange between the Baltic sailors and show how diverse and great the sailing life is."

More information is available here.

Sources: Rolex Fastnet Race website; Scuttlebutt Sailing News; RC44 website; Nord Stream Race website
Photo: Carlo Borlenghi; Pedro Martinez; Andrey Sheremetev