2 January 2009
Lorna Siggins, in today’s Irish Times:
FIVE MONTHS before the Volvo around the world fleet sails into Galway, the event’s hosts are confident that a breakthrough is “imminent” in preparations for Ireland’s first stopover of the race to date.
Difficulties between Topaz and Chevron Ireland over relocating to a new oil terminal have stalled work on laying foundations for the Volvo Ocean Race village in Galway docks.
The Government has committed €8 million to Ireland’s participation in the prestigious international event, including funding of the Galway race stage from May 23rd to June 6th.
Read more here.
Take a virtual tour of the planned Race Village here.
1 January 2009
Sailmaker Des McWilliam is one of the good guys, now associated with OneSails, so a New Year’s Day shout seems appropriate. Des dressed the Corby 36 Rosie which was selected as Irish Cruiser Racing Association joint “Yacht of the Year.” And he has also designed the sails for Dinah with great attention to detail.
30 December 2008
The new Racing Rules of Sailing for 2009 – 2012 come into play on New Year’s Day.
Download the complete Racing Rules of Sailing from the ISAF site here.
Rules expert Dick ROSE gives his view on the new edition of the RRS here.
Bryan Willis has published a well-illustrated guide to the new Rules, available from Amazon at a good price.
24 December 2008
22 September 2008
Twenty-nine solo sailors were about eight hours into the second leg of the Figaro Cap Instanbul Race when word arrived at race headquarters that one skipper had apparently fallen overboard. The incident occurred last Friday in the Mediterranean south of Sardinia. Chistophe Bouvet’s Figaro Beneteau II 33-footer Sirma had been spotted by another competitor with sails flogging and no one on deck. A race escort boat rushed to the scene and confirmed that Bouvet, a 39-year-old French sailor, was not onboard. The discovery was made about 8 p.m. and nobody knew how long before that he had gone in, nor how far the boat had sailed itself.
Christophe Bouvet (right) and his saviour, Paul Meihat.
Bouvet’s Sirma, as it was found by competitor Mathieu Girolet (right).
Using Sirma’s own navigation system, race officials plotted the boat’s track and called the nearest racers to divert and help with the search. Within a short time, every one of the other 28 boats voluntarily stopped racing and sailed over to help. But by now it was nighttime and the wind was still blowing 20-25 knots. The chances of finding someone in those conditions, who had no light, no personal beacon and no lifejacket, were slim at best.
Incredibly, about 10 p.m., racer Paul Meihat radioed that he had pulled Bouvet aboard his TS Regate Creteil Val de Varne, and that Bouvet was cold but okay. Bouvet was transferred to an Italian Guardia launch and taken ashore, where he was found to be shaky but otherwise okay. He told of going on deck to shorten sail for expected stronger winds when a 45-knot gust caused Sirma to broach. Bouvet went overboard but managed to hang onto a line. However, when the boat righted herself and the spinnaker filled, the line was ripped from his hands. That was about 6 p.m., two hours before his boat was spotted. So he was treading water for about four hours total. He says he tried to shed as much clothing as he could, and that he was “attacked by jellyfish” while he awaited rescue. He was also heartened to see flares, which the race committee had requested boats light off specifically so Christophe would know that a search was on for him.
Just as there are no atheists in foxholes, Bouvet has become a safety convert. At various press conferences over the weekend, he touted the praises of safety gear and awareness. As well, both racers and race organizers were reflecting on ways to strengthen safety aboard. Bouvet also noted that he was lucky to have been sailing near the front of the fleet, since the boat that first spotted his was coming up from behind. “I dare not think about what would have happened if I’d been one of the backrunners,” he said.
Shortly after the rescue, the 330-mile second leg from Cagliari, Sardinia, to Marzamemi, Sicily, was cancelled. It was restarted yesterday. But Bouvet was not among them. He was aboard a race committee boat that escorted them out. He hopes to symbolically finish the race by sailing the last leg — 110 miles from Gallipoli to Istanbul — with the fleet. “I think my sponsor will understand,” he said.
This is the third running of the Cap Istanbul Race, a five-leg, 1,670-mile race across the Mediterranean from Nice, France, to Istanbul, Turkey. Link to race website.
28 July 2008
Green Dragon’s international crew includes top Irish ocean sailors Damian Foxall, Justin Slattery and Ian Moore and is skippered by double Olympic medallist Ian Walker Green Dragon, the Volvo Ocean Race entry, was welcomed to its homeport of Galway by a fantastic flotilla of boats from Galway Bay Sailing Club.
Sailing onboard the Green Dragon on its approach to Galway was Galwayman and Green Dragon Director of Sailing Eamon Conneely.
‘This is a historic moment for all of us working on the campaign. To bring the Green Dragon home to Galway for the first time is a milestone in the project. Hopefully it will give Galway a taste of the Volvo Ocean Race stopover which has been secured for Galway from 23 May to 06 June 2009,’ stated Eamon Conneely
Galway will be one of eleven stopover ports for the Volvo Ocean Race 2008-09, from May 23rd until June 6th 2009 when it will host seven Volvo Open 70’s and an expected 140,000 visitors. Failte Ireland is the principal sponsor of the Galway stopover which is projected to enerate €43m into the local economy.
During the stopover there will be two weeks of festival, concerts and fairs for the general public and it will be free for visitors to access. On the bank holiday weekend May 30th – June 1st there will be inport racing for the seven Volvo Ocean Race teams in Galway Bay. It will provide a chance for spectators to see these premier racing machines up close with the promenade in Salthill offering a fantastic viewing gallery. On June 6th the seven teams will depart for Gothenburg and the final stages of the race.
“We have had an amazing welcome today, it is fantastic to be in our home port and the excitement about the race coming here next year is evident from the people today. We will remain in Ireland for the next month as we prepare for the race, its location gives us an ideal opportunity to test the boat in a range of inshore and offshore conditions,” stated Ian Walker, skipper Green Dragon Team
The Volvo Ocean Race will start in Alicante with the inport racing on October 04 and departs from Alicante on 11 October 2008 and will sail to Capetown, Kochi, Singapore, Qingdao, Rio de Janeiro, Boston, Galway, Gothenburg, Stockholm and will finish in St Petersburg on 28 June 2009. It will cover 37,000nm and it is the first time that the race will have followed this route.
For the crew this will be no pleasure cruise and not for the faint hearted. The race will take 10 months to complete and will involve sleep
deprivation, debilitating cold and gasping heat and where freeze-dried food is the set menu. You live in a cramped carbon fibre box with 10 fellow crew members in temperatures ranging between -5 and +50 degrees Celsius.
At times 2,500 miles from the nearest landfall, you contend with Mountainous seas, 70 knot winds, the constant pounding of the waves causes your stomach to be set on spin cycle, and every ounce of emotional energy is stretched to breaking point.
The Green Dragon Volvo Open 70 will be based in Galway until Thursday 31 July after which they will return to Cork for a short re-fit before heading to the Atlantic for their 2000nm race qualifier.
24 July 2008
We had a great week delivering Dinah from Camaret to Lymington. We port-tacked this eastbound tanker in the English channel. We made the crossing at an average of 8 knots, beam reaching with one reef in the main and number 4 jib, both old dacron sails.
4 July 2008
Designed and built in 1915 by Nathaniel Herreshoff, the steel-hulled schooner is a real eye catcher. Restored by billionaire Tom Perkins.
Detailed article about the boat here.
She is flying an Isle of Man ensign.
28 June 2008
The Australian 470 team practicing at Qingdao, site of 2008 Olympic sailing.
Local officials have mobilised a fleet of boats to try to clear the algae.
From Australia News
26 June 2008
Chinese firms will sponsor the Green Team Irish boat.
The Green Team has been re-named the Green Dragon Team, after securing title sponsorship from a syndicate of Chinese companies, it has been officially announced.
The names of the companies in the Chinese syndicate will be announced at a later date. The Green Dragon will be skippered by double Olympic medallist Ian Walker in the Volvo Ocean Race 2008-09 starting in Alicante, Spain, on 4 October.
For the first time in the 35 year history of the race, China will not only host a three-week stopover in the Olympic sailing venue, Qingdao, but now has the first Chinese sponsorship of a Volvo Ocean Race entry.
The team already holds strong Chinese links with construction of the boat in China. The boat was built by a team of 90 Chinese boat builders at McConaghy Boats in Zhuhai, Southern China, and the first Volvo Open 70 boat to be built in the country
“We are delighted to be able to finally announce our title sponsorship,” said Jamie Boag, CEO. “The Green Dragon Team. Having built the boat in China we have developed a close relationship with a number of companies who were interested in being involved in the Volvo Ocean Race. The exposure that this sponsorship will bring the team, our current and potential sponsors within the Chinese and Asian markets is enormous.”
The build of the Green Dragon Volvo Open 70 was financed through a syndicate of private Irish investors, who remain in place with the project moving forward.
“For the syndicate who has financed the construction of the boat, it is the culmination of two years of support and commitment. The boat itself sailed for the first time last week and we are thrilled with the results of our first sea trials,” Eamon Conneely, Sailing Director and Syndicate member.
With the sponsorship agreement comes the search for a Chinese crew member to join the first class crew already named. The current Green Dragon Team crew includes four previous competitors of the Volvo Ocean Race including one past winner.
The Green Dragon Team will be co-ordinating the search for the best Chinese sailor to join them. Skipper Ian Walker has outlined what he is looking for in the Chinese crew member.
“We would like to see Chinese sailors who are competing at this summer’s Olympic Games applying, along with members of Team China America’s Cup syndicate. However, this does not preclude any sailor who is not already established from contacting us if they feel they have what it takes. We will bring up to five potential Chinese crew members to Ireland in August to train with the team; from there we will select the final crew member.”
The team will now head to Ireland in early July for two months training before leaving at the end of August for Alicante and the race start.