Liz Wardley in Volvo Ocean Race

Volvo Ocean Race 01.08.2017


Liz Wardley joins Turn the Tide on Plastic
Turn the Tide on Plastic skipper Dee Caffari has named her first crew member of the 2017-18 edition by signing up two-time Volvo Ocean Race veteran Liz Wardley (full story below)

Turn the Tide on Plastic skipper Dee Caffari has named her first crew member of the 2017-18 edition by signing up two-time Volvo Ocean Race veteran Liz Wardley.

The Australian, who first competed in the Race in 2001-02 onboard Amer Sports Too, and more recently was part of Team SCA’s 2014-15 campaign, joins the team as Boat Captain.

Liz made her name winning numerous titles in the Hobie Cat 16 class, before becoming the first woman to win the Sydney-Hobart Race in 1999, having skippered a boat at the age of just 19 the previous year.

Wardley boasts more experience around the One Design Volvo Ocean 65’s than anyone else on the planet having clocked up over 80,000 nautical miles over the last four years.

Since the end of the Team SCA campaign, she has been working as part of the Volvo Ocean Race Boatyard team in Lisbon, as the facility completed a comprehensive refit of the whole fleet.

“I’m absolutely delighted to join Turn the Tide on Plastic for the next edition of the Volvo Ocean Race,“ said Wardley. „I’ve made no secret of my desire to compete for a third time and to do so as part of what will be a fully mixed crew is incredibly exciting.

“I’ve spent a lot of time around the Volvo Ocean 65s since the end of the 2014-15 edition and I’ve learned a lot which I can’t wait to put into practice during another race around the world.”

The Turn the Tide on Plastic campaign, backed by the Mirpuri Foundation and the Ocean Family Foundation, will amplify the United Nations Environment’s ‘Clean Seas: Turn the Tide on Plastic’ message throughout the Race.

Wardley, who was born and raised in Papua New Guinea, is a passionate ocean health campaigner and believes that this campaign can make a real difference to what is a growing issue.

“As someone who grew up around the ocean in some of the most remote parts of the planet, I have seen the heartbreaking impact of plastic pollution first hand,” she continued.

“We need to do something about it – and I’m extremely proud about being part of this trailblazing campaign, backed by some passionate partners, which I really believe can make an incredible impact on a global scale.”

Caffari, who has been trialling potential crew members in Lisbon over the past month as she aims to build a youth-orientated and mixed squad, added that Wardley’s experience makes her a key part of the team.

“I know Liz well having sailed alongside her on Team SCA and she is one of the best in the business,” she said. “She knows the Volvo Ocean 65 inside out having spent more time around these boats than any other sailor in the world – male or female – and that’s experience you simply can’t replicate.”

Caffari and Wardley oversaw a trial crew which recently sailed the Turn the Tide on Plastic boat from Lisbon, Portugal to Gosport, UK where the full Volvo Ocean Race fleet is stationed ahead of the beginning of Leg Zero on Wednesday 2 August. Further members of the Turn the Tide on Plastic crew will be announced shortly.

The Turn the Tide on Plastic boat will amplify the Volvo Ocean Race’s larger sustainability focus, and joins team AkzoNobel (Simeon Tienpont, Netherlands), Dongfeng Race Team (Charles Caudrelier, France), MAPFRE (Xabi Fernández, Spain), Vestas 11th Hour Racing (Charlie Enright, USA), Team Sun Hung Kai/Scallywag (David Witt, Australia) and Team Brunel (Bouwe Bekking, Netherlands) in the fleet for the 2017-18 edition.

The Volvo Ocean Race starts from Alicante on 22 October and will stop at Lisbon, Cape Town, Melbourne, Hong Kong, Guangzhou, Auckland, Itajaí, Newport, Cardiff and Gothenburg before a big finish in The Hague at the end of June 2018.



Melges Worlds 31.07.2017


2017 Melges 24 World Championship in Helsinki, Finland
In the First Day of Helsinki Two Races and Four Winners

July 31, 2017 – Helsinki, Finland – A cloudy afternoon, characterized by light and shifty breeze, accompanied the first day of racing of the Melges 24 fleet in Helsinki, from today officially involved in the 2017 Melges 24 World Championship organized by the International Melges 24 Class Association together with the Finnish Melges 24 Class Association and hosted by the Helsingfors Segelklubb. Fifty-nine boats from fifteen nations will compete, until Friday, August 4th, to determine who is going to be the next Melges 24 World Champion, after the Conor Clarkes‘ Embarr from Ireland that won the title in Miami in 2016.

Despite the light wind conditions, the Race Committee presided by PRO Madis Ausman managed to make the fleet complete two races. The challenge immediately begun: the first victory of the series went to the Italian entry Altea (1-22 today) by Andrea Racchelli, second in the Worlds of Middlefart and winner of the 2016 Melges 24 European Sailing Series. The Italian boat, though, because of a 22nd place obtained in race number two, couldn’t maintain the leadership of the provisional ranking, slipping in sixth place overall after the first two races of the series.

The bullet from the race number two was scored by Monsoon (6-1), helmed by Bruce Ayres with Mike Buckley calling the tactics: the American entry revealed itself as the most consistent boat of the fleet today, obtaining the leadership of the provisional ranking, where it is followed by Gian Luca Perego’s Maidollis (5-10): the Italian entry boasts on board the presence of the renowned couple that already won the Melges 24 Worlds in 2012 with Enrico Fonda calling tactics and Carlo Fracassoli helming.

Third place in the overall ranking goes to Ukrainian Vasyl Gureyev’s Barmaley (9-9 overall/3-3 Corinthian) that, thanks to the consistent placements of today, takes the provisional lead also in the Corinthian division. The top-three of the category reserved to non-professional sailors is completed by the reigning World Champions aboard Marco Zammarchi’sTaki 4 with Niccolò Bertola in helm (11-13/4-5) and Dutch Team Kesbeke/Sika/Gill with Ronald Veraar helming (7-17/1-9).

Fulll results of the open division
The results of the Corinthian division

Day 1 photos by Pierrick Contin

Tomorrow, second day of racing in the waters of Helsinki, the Race Committee will call the fleet on the race course for a first start at 11:00 am. Weather forecasts expect sunnier and windier windy conditions than those we had today.

Event Press Officers – Mauro Melandri and Silvia Gallegati – Zerogradinord
Event photographer – Pierrick Contin,
Event Media Coordinator – Piret Salmistu, IM24CA

Schedule of the events:
Friday 28th to Sunday 30th of July – Registration & Measurement
Sunday 30th of July – Registration & Measurement, Practice Race, Opening Ceremony
Monday 31st of July to Friday 4th of August – Racing at the 2017 Melges 24 Worlds
Friday 4th of August – Racing + Closing Ceremony

Melges 24 World Chmapionship 2017 is supported by:
FinnLines, Tallink, Vana Tallinn, LifeProof, Dermoshop, Melges Europe/ Helly Hansen, Estonian Melges 24 Class Association, Holiday Inn.

Event Webpage
Event in Facebook
International Melges 24 Class Association

Helsingfors Segelsklubb

Any queries regarding the Melges 24 World Championship can be directed to:
Tomi Hakola
Finnish Melges 24 Class Association
+358 40 5352020

Ted Gröndahl
Helsingfors Segelklubb
+358 500 330331

Piret Salmistu
IM24CA Administrator & Media Coordinator
+372 507 7217

Skiff Europeans 005

Skiff Euro 31.07.2017


Nur nicht ab durch die Mitte
Briten dominieren im 49er – Nacra 17: Kohlhoff/Stuhlemmer fliegen auf Rang vier.
Am zweiten Tag der Europameisterschaft der 49er, 49er FX und Nacra 17 vor Kiel Schilksee war Entscheidungsfreudigkeit gefragt. Links oder rechts raus, nur nicht durch die Mitte, denn dort machten die vielen Winddrehern den Seglern zu schaffen.

Morgenabend enden die Qualifikationsrennen und es folgt die Einteilung in Gold- und Silberflotte. Am Freitag endet die Mehrfach-EM, die der Kieler Yacht-Club und Norddeutsche Regatta Verein ausrichten, mit den Medal Races im Theater Style, einem „Spielfeld“ auf dem Wasser.
„Da haben wir fast den Zug verpasst“, sagt Steuermann Justus Schmidt. Die richtige Richtung hätten sie mit ihrem 49er beinahe verfehlt, als der Wind gegen Ende des dritten Rennens „abgestellt“ wurde. Doch eben nur fast. Mit ihrem 11., 4. und 3. Rang sind sie zufrieden. Damit liegen die Europameister von 2015 insgesamt auf dem 9. Platz.

An der Spitze sind die beiden britischen Teams Dylan Fletcher-Scott/Stuart Bithell vor James Peters/Fynn Sterritt. Auf Rang drei folgen David Gilmour/Joel Turner (Australien). Im ersten Rennen verhinderte ein nicht optimaler Start ein besseres Ergebnis für Justus Schmidt/Max Boehme (Kiel). „Die Qualifikationsserie wird gar nicht so hoch gewichtet. Es ist wichtig, dass wir den Schritt ins Goldfleet schaffen“, so Schmidt. Den beiden fehlt die Saisonvorbereitung. Da Max Boehme in Polen studiert, kamen nicht viele Trainingsstunden auf dem Wasser zusammen. „Wir nutzen die EM, um zu schauen, wo wir stehen.“ Es geht darum, die Balance zu halten, zwischen dem Studium auf der einen Seite und gleichzeitig nicht den Anschluss an die Weltspitze zu verlieren auf der anderen. „Wir fühlen uns gut. Die anderen sind nicht zu weit weg“, ist ihr Fazit nach dem zweiten Tag. In vier Wochen ist die WM in Portugal – der Saisonhöhepunkt für die Kieler. Ab Oktober wollen sie sich dann ins Studium reinhängen. Ab nächstem Sommer kommt Max Boehme wieder nach Kiel zurück, und dann steigen sie voll in die Olympiakampagne 2020 ein.

Dabei können sie zwar nicht mehr auf die finanzielle Unterstützung des aufgelösten Sailing Team Germany setzen, aber „wir werden ja weiter von Audi unterstützt“, freuen sich Schmidt/Böhme, die mit „Immac“ einen weiteren Sponsor haben und von der Kieler Sporthilfe sowie dem Team SH des Landessportverbandes gefördert werden.

Im Nacra17 mit C-Foils begannen Tom Heinrich und Mathias Mollat heute mit einem vierten Rang und verbesserten sich dann kontinuierlich. Nach einem dritten und zweiten Platz rangieren sie momentanen auf dem Gesamt-Vierten hinter Calle Sørensen/Daniel Bjørnholt (Dänemark), Pip Pietromonaco/Conor Nicholas (Australien) und Paul Darmanin/Lucy Copeland (Australien). So haben sie sich eine gute Ausgangsposition für die kommenden Tage ersegelt. „Man musste sich für eine Seite komplett entscheiden, weil in der Mitte mit den Winddrehern nichts ging. Das hat zwei Rennen gedauert, bis wir das herausgefunden haben“, so Tom Heinrich.

Die C-Foils werden zwar außerhalb der Titelkämpfe gewertet, doch für Heinrich zählt bei dieser Europameisterschaft das Motto: „Egal wie, Hauptsache Segeln“. Seit sechs Tagen sitzt er erst mit Vorschoter Mathias Mollat aus Norwegen in einem Boot. Eine halbe Woche zuvor hatte er von seiner Vorschoterin Alica Stuhlemmer die Information erhalten, dass sie zusammen mit Paul Kohlhoff segelt. Auch Kohlhoffs ehemalige Vorschoterin Luisa Krüger, bei der er anfragte, sagte ab.

Die neue Konstellation hat im Mixed-Kat zwar keine Zukunft, trotzdem freuen sich beide, dass sie so vor Kiel mitmischen können. Wie es weitergeht nach den Europameisterschaften, weiß Tom Heinrich noch nicht. Am liebsten würde er weiter Nacra17 – dann auch mit den neuen Z-Foils – segeln. „Fliegen ist krass“, schwärmt er vom Full-Foiling-Test in Holland.

Während die Aktiven auf den neuen Booten versuchen, den Kat möglichst schnell um den Kurs zu fliegen, liege der Fokus im Feld der C-Foils auf Taktik und Starts. Und obwohl viele Teams ins Feld der Full-Foiler gewechselt sind, ist Tom Heinrich mit der Besetzung zufrieden. „Es ist ein ziemlich hohes Niveau. So wie es in einer olympischen Klasse sein sollte.“
Die Frauen-Teams in den 49erFX starteten heute erst am Nachmittag in ihre vier Rennen. Nicht mit dabei sind die Brasilianerinnen Martine Grael und Kahena Kunze. Die Olympiasiegerinnen haben sich gegen einen Start in Kiel entschieden. Momentan konzentrieren sie sich auf private Projekte und genießen ihren Urlaub, bevor sie dann zur WM im August im portugiesischen Porto wieder angreifen wollen. Doch auch ohne die Brasilianerinnen ist das Feld hochkarätig besetzt. Ihren ersten Platz vom Vortag verteidigten die Bronzemedaillengewinnerinnen von Rio Hansen/Salskov-Iversen (Dänemark) vor Bekkering/Janmaat (Niederlande) und Dobson/Tidey (Großbritannien).

Bei den Nacra 17 Full-Foilern bewiesen Fernando Echavarri Erasun und Tara Pacheco van Rijnsoever aus Spanien das beste Bootshandling. Sie übernahmen die Führung vor den Italienern Ruggero Tita und Caterina Banti sowie Allan Norregaard und Anette Viborg (Norwegen). Paul Kohlhoff und Alica Stuhlemmer (Kiel) folgen auf dem vierten Rang.

Alle Ergebnisse und weitere Informationen finden Sie unter:
Ergebnisse 49er Ergebnisse Nacra17


Volvo Ocean Race 31.07.2017


What to look out for on Leg Zero
Who will draw #FirstBlood in the debut battle between the teams? (full story below)

Leg Zero not only takes care of the official qualifying for the Volvo Ocean Race – it’s also the first chance to see the teams in a competitive shakedown against each other.

No points will be carried forward to the race itself, but the overall Leg Zero winner still gets a confidence boost – and here, round-the-world Vendée Globe sailor Conrad Colman fills us in on how it might play out.

Leg Zero breakdown

Don’t go looking for the logic, but Leg Zero is actually made up of four separate races. The seven teams taking part – team AkzoNobel, Dongfeng Race Team, MAPFRE, Vestas 11th Hour Racing, Sun Hung Kai/Scallywag, Turn the Tide on Plastic and Team Brunel – will face the following schedule:

2 August: an intense 50-nautical mile sprint around the Isle of Wight

6 August start: the famous Rolex Fastnet Race featuring some of the hottest yachting hardware on the planet in a 608 nm coastal race that has historically served up a hearty dose of danger – and a lot of stressed navigators.

Then comes another big challenge, with two Volvo Ocean Race-only legs:

10 August start: Plymouth, England to St Malo in France (125 nm)

13 August start: St Malo to Lisbon, Portugal (770 nm)

There are no other boats to act as a distraction on these last two legs, just the world’s strictest offshore One Design fleet and the clock ticking down to the start of the Volvo Ocean Race from Alicante, Spain on 22 October 2017.

Around the Island Race

A 50-mile coastal race in early August for some of the best sailors in the world who are preparing to tackle the world’s longest racetrack in sport? Okay, let’s be honest – we’re not going to learn a lot here. There’s nothing much at stake and in terms of racing, it’s tempting to say there’s nothing to see here… But then again, sandbanks, rocks and tides will make these 50 miles pretty challenging – and would you want to finish last out of the Volvo Ocean Race fleet?

The Famous Fastnet

Now we’re talking. The Rolex Fastnet Race boasts the biggest offshore racing fleet in the sailing world and traditionally, it can go one of two ways. Either a late summer depression will rip across the Atlantic Ocean and chew through the fleet, as happened in the infamous 1979 edition, or boats will be forced to pick their way along the English coast, searching for any puff of wind while being pushed in circles by the tides.

The series of bays and headlands along the southern coast of England make the first part of the course like sailing along the edge of a saw, where each point sticking down into the English Channel concentrates and accelerates the tide. This will give a welcome push to those that make it through on time, and punish those forced to fight against the flow. In the tight Volvo Ocean 65 fleet, rounding a headland just 10 minutes after a competitor might cost you an hour at the finish! Even though the Fastnet doesn’t count towards the points in the race around the world, MAPFRE skipper Xabi Fernández confirms that his team won’t get much sleep: “A 600-mile race like the Fastnet is not super relevant towards the real race but of course it’s always good to sail together as a crew. There will be plenty of manoeuvres and a lot going on. It’s going to be good training and we will take it very seriously.”

Look out for strange routes on the tracker by the Land’s End point as strong tides turn around this headland and there’s a huge obstacle in the way. Traffic Separation Schemes (TSS) act like salty motorways for commercial shipping, and because they guide hundreds of massive steel ships, they are off limits for competitors.

These off-limits TSS zones will appear later in the Volvo Ocean Race route, most notably in the Strait of Gibraltar, around Hong Kong and off the coast of Newport, RI. This American highway upended the leaderboard in the last race after MAPFRE, Team SCA and Dongfeng all entered the zone illegally and were penalised. Now is a good time for the teams to get to grips with these TSS zones to avoid problems later when the points are at stake.

As the English coast fades into the horizon behind, streaking across the Celtic Sea will allow the Volvo Ocean 65s to enter more typical ocean conditions until the handbrake turn around Fastnet Rock. We’ll talk about the actual weather closer to the time but here the wind is often from the west and with the route now leading eastwards back to the Cornish coast the wind will be coming from behind the boats – a wind angle that the crews will see a lot of in the coming race around the world.

From rocks to tides to TSS’s, one thing is for sure – the navigators will suffer!

St Malo Rocks

After back to back stopovers in Lorient in 2011-12 and 2014-15, the Volvo Ocean Race will visit another French city that’s crazy about ocean racing, St Malo. It’s best known for a solo transatlantic race every four years called the Route du Rhum (confirming the theory that sailors are obsessed with the sea, salt and rum).

Volvo Ocean Race boats have deep keels and are normally safe offshore in the deep ocean but in 2008-09 Bouwe Bekking skimmed the bottom in Taiwan and dramatically slammed into a submerged rock just off Gothenburg. A former pirate’s paradise, St Malo is also protected by a fearsome set of reefs and needless to say, it could be pretty stressful with freshly painted keels and a circumnavigation just around the corner!

Who’s hot, who’s not?

Cyclists count how many ribs are visible on their competitors to see if they are down to weight. Football players look for medical tape on opposing teams that might signal a sign of weakness. Sailors have less to go on, as physical form is only one factor in the pursuit of speed. In sailing, polished teamwork counts for more than the circumference of biceps and strong tides and fickle winds will make it hard to get an accurate measure of potential speed in real offshore conditions.

Dee Caffari, Skipper of Turn the Tide on Plastic: „As a form guide I think it would be misleading. We all have different sails for racing. Some have old sails some have race sails and some have a combination of sails. I am still using the Leg 0 race schedule as a trial for my sailing team so it is a test to see if we have the appropriate people.“

The short legs won’t allow teams to try out their ocean watch systems as most teams will probably chug a Red Bull and push hard in the knowledge that the next port isn’t far away. This fourth and final part of Leg Zero will probably give us the best sense of who’s up to speed and who’s got work to do before the big one comes around. That’s because the rounding of Cape Finisterre at the northwest point of Spain often accelerates the local wind before the trade winds blowing down the Portuguese coast allow teams one last blast to measure their performance before the boats go into maintenance.

83 days out from the start, the pressure is building!