ISSUE 28 - MAY 12
Winning the Gewiss Marzamemi Offshore Weekend Regatta VOLVO OCEAN RACE 2012 Match racing
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WELCOME Commodore’s Message For the Royal Malta Yacht Club this should be a year where benefit of the efforts of recent years in developing the new premises should start to be felt. We should now expect to see more and more activities at the club, both on and off the water, making use of the club’s extensive facilities. On the social side, an extremely enjoyable quiz night was recently held at the club. Following the positive feedback from those who were there, other activities of a similar nature are being considered and hopefully will take place. The pontoons have just been laid for the season – besides receiving visiting yachtsmen, the pontoons will enable sailing events to be held from the club. A series of match races using two H boats is due to start shortly where the racing will be sailed just off the club, allowing members to watch the racing from the club’s terraces. The SLAM regatta will this year also be based at the club. Being a series of short inshore or coastal races, participants will surely gather round at the club for
drinks after racing. With a barbecue night and a presentation party after racing on the last day, this event should not be missed. The IIG Round the Islands Race in June will be followed by the MaltaSyracuse Race which this year will start from Malta. If last year’s numbers are maintained, the club could be hosting close to 100 boats from nearby Sicily to compete in this classic offshore race – I urge the local boats to participate in good numbers to put up a good challenge. Other events, particularly the Rolex Middle Sea Race which is already getting some early entries, will follow after the summer break. Apart from these events, the club is becoming more and more popular as a meeting place for its members especially at lunchtime. It is an ideal place to meet for a drink or for dinner in the evenings too especially now that summer is here. I encourage all the members to make more use of their club with all its facilities and to help make it not just a great club but also a pleasant and friendly one. Godwin Zammit Commodore RMYC
Editor Teddie Borg Email: firstname.lastname@example.org Consulting Editor Stanley Borg Email: email@example.com Design & Art Direction Porridge: www.weareporridge.com Email: firstname.lastname@example.org Publication Co-ordinator Brian Cremona
Spinnaker is published by BE Communications Ltd, 37, Amery Street, Sliema, SLM 1702 for the Royal Malta Yacht Club.
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Camper with Emirates Team New Zealand, skippered by Chris Nicholson from Australia, battling with Team Telefonica, as they sail past Cape Reinga, in the final miles to the finish of leg four in Auckland, during the Volvo Ocean Race 2011-12. (Photo by Ian Roman / Volvo Ocean Race).
8 - SPINNAKER / Issue 28
Distribution Spinnaker is the official publication of the Royal Malta Yacht Club is distributed to all RMYC members, boat and yacht importers, marine outlets, boats berthed at local marinas, ministries and embassies. For information regarding promotion and advertising: Tel: 00 356 2134 2155, 2131 4719 Email: email@example.com
All rights reserved. Reproduction in whole or in part is strictly prohibited without written permission. Opinions expressed in Spinnaker are not necessarily those of the editor or publisher. All reasonable care is taken to ensure truth and accuracy, but the editor and publishers cannot be held responsible for errors or omissions in articles, advertising, photographs or illustrations. Unsolicited manuscripts are welcome but cannot be returned without a stamped, self-addressed envelope. The editor is not responsible for material submitted for consideration. © 2011 Be Communications Ltd. All rights reserved.
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Contents EDITOR’S NOTE The proud Royal Malta Yacht Club tradition of excellence means a passionate commitment to constant innovation. It is a constant search to extend the limits of our knowledge to upgrade our state-of-the-art club. For all the right and correct reasons, the subtle leadership of new Commodore Godwin Zammit is being reflected continuously on the highly experienced committee members to sustain and face new challenges with optimism. It is a collective administrative commitment to tackle the promotion of engaging more membership while retaining our prestige and high reputation in the process, to acquire more sponsorships for our local and offshore races, to improve club accommodation and its terraces, and to create more club activities for one and all. Much of the committee’s energy is targeted to achieve these requirements which, when acquired will endeavour our club performances to suffice our club members requisites. We tend to believe that our standards should be of the highest level both for organising our sailing calendar and for satisfying our social members with innovative social activities. Most of all, it is to sustain our prestigious Rolex Middle Sea Race reputation as one of the most gruelling offshore contests in the world of sailing and to offer more opportunities both for foreign and local crews for more involvement in participating year in year out, irrespective of their performance. In the April 2006 edition of the Spirit of Yachting, reputable sailing journalist James Boyd described the Rolex Middle Sea Race as a unique one: “The racing sailor has an endless choice of challenges regattas around the world, but among offshore races, few are held on as breathtaking a course as the Rolex Middle Sea Race”. We have the island atmosphere, hospitality and a worldrenowned crew party but above all we are also proud of our world class offshore race – the classical race in the Mediterranean. Teddie Borg Editor
10 - SPINNAKER / Issue 28
15 Man at the helm
Spinnaker welcomes Godwin Zammit, the new Commodore of the Royal Malta Yacht Club.
19 Wind in his sails
Spinnaker meets Anthony Camilleri, winner of the International Yacht Paint Double Handed Round Malta race on board Windward.
22 What Artie did next
After winning the Rolex Middle Sea Race 2011, Artie goes after more glory.
27 It’s all in the details
Recently, the Royal Malta Yacht Club held two sessions of race management talks at the club. Rear Commodore Racing Peter Dimech, who is also an ISAF International Race Officer, prepared two presentations for the participants.
33 One on one
Godwin Zammit sets match racing alight.
34 What a show
The Slam Weekend Regatta was a showcase for bravery and keen seamanship, says Teddie Borg.
38 Pain, gain and glory for Camper Emirates TNZ
Camper Emirates TNZ wins the Volvo Ocean Race 2012. Teddie Borg reports from Auckland.
42 Gearing up for the racing season
Improving performance is a constant challenge for GasanMamo Comanche Raider II sailing yacht. After an unfortunate retirement in last year’s Rolex Middle Sea Race due to problems with the rudder bearing, the crew is looking below the water line to improve the keel, hull and rudder. Spinnaker talks to skipper Jonas Diamantino for the latest on the sailing scene.
44 In first place
Ramon Sant Hill on winning the Gewiss Marzamemi Offshore Weekend Regatta.
46 Taking the honours
Windward wins the International Yacht Paint Double Handed Round Malta race.
50 The Rolex China Sea Race
2012 marked the 50th Anniversary race of the Rolex China Sea Race, an offshore yachting classic.
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The Royal Malta Yacht Club during the 2011 Rolex Middle Sea Race. Photos by Rolex/Kurt Arrigo
Royal Malta Yacht Club committee
The Royal Malta Yacht Club committee is now composed as follows:
12 - SPINNAKER / Issue 28
Rear Commodore (Racing)
Rear Commodore (Cruising)
Rear Commodore (House)
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S Do you remember the first boat that you owned? GZ I had bought one of the Swordfishes from NSTS when they sold them off – I then renovated it and started to race with the Vikings Sailing Club and in regattas by other clubs active at the time. I later started to sail on larger boats in Royal Malta Yacht Club races and eventually bought a J 92, a ninemetre racing boat called Revenge which I raced with the RMYC for several years. S What’s your current boat? GZ I now own a Jeanneau Sunfast 40 called Inspiration which I race regularly in RMYC regattas. S What have been your best, and worst, sailing experiences to date?
Man at the helm Spinnaker welcomes Godwin Zammit, the new Commodore of the Royal Malta Yacht Club.
What first sparked your passion for sailing?
GODWIN ZAMMIT I was always fond of the sea and boating, with a particular fascination for sailing boats. However, I did not actually start to sail until my late teens when I learnt to sail on 15-foot Swordfish dinghies owned at the time by the University of Malta.
GZ Sailing has given me many varied and wonderful experiences. Besides the local regattas which I still enjoy, I was a crew member in four Middle Sea Races and two ORC championships, one in Italy and the other in Croatia. I have been on international juries in events such as the Semaine Nautique in Marseilles and the X 35 European Championship in Punta Ala and I have occasionally attended annual congresses of the IRC and ORC, the two main handicapping systems used in offshore sailing. But there is more to sailing than just racing and cruising the Aeolian islands is one of the most beautiful and relaxing experiences I’ve had. Sailing can also have its bad moments and sailing through some pretty bad weather in a Middle Sea Race was probably one of the worst for me, although I know that it was not as bad as others experienced on that race in recent years. S When did you become a RMYC member? GZ I joined the RMYC in 1996 just after I bought the J 92, although I had been racing on other boats in RMYC events for a few years before then. S What was your first role within the RMYC committee? GZ I joined the RMYC committee in 2000 and in 2001 I was appointed SPINNAKER / Issue 28 - 15
Rear Commodore Racing with the responsibility for race organisation. Having an interest in racing, especially the more technical aspects, I started to manage the measurement and ratings of the boats for handicapping. For the Rolex Middle Sea Race I acted as chairman of the Race Committee dealing with the race organisation side of the event. I am still the representative for Malta on the IRC Congress, a member of the ORC congress and a rating officer of the ORC.
S What are your main responsibilities as RMYC Commodore? GZ The Commodoreâ€™s job is to lead the RMYC committee in running the club which has grown into quite an operation with multiple activities. Besides organising regattas and other club activities, the club runs a bar which also provides dining in association with the restaurant, has facilities such as meeting and conference facilities, a gym and also operates a seasonal marina. Then there is the Rolex Middle Sea Race, which is the clubâ€™s most important, prestigious and in many ways demanding event. It is a top international event and requires much planning and organisation which starts early on in the year.
16 - SPINNAKER / Issue 28
S What are your main plans and aims for the RMYC for this year? GZ Now that the RMYC is settled in the new premises, the club has to make the best use of the facilities which have been developed over the last few years. We can improve the level of our regattas, hold sporting events of a different kind such as match racing or one design fleet racing, organise more activities of a more social nature to involve all the members even those that do not sail. If there is a demand we can try to revive short cruising in company. Thinking ahead we can in future try to include a week-long regatta of inshore racing which could be built up to attract foreign entries at least from nearby Sicily in the beginning. Most important of all we wish to see the members using the club, participating in its activities and feeling at home among friends when they are there.
S What are the main challenges that the RMYC currently faces? GZ The club has incurred great
expense in developing its premises and running the club involves significant operational costs. It is a challenge for the club to keep all this going sustainably. However the activities which are run at the club
can be managed efficiently and sufficiently profitably to enable the club to recuperate and remain economically viable.
S What are the highlights of the RMYC 2012 calendar? GZ The club runs quite a busy schedule of races. The Gewiss Marzamemi Regatta is always popular attracting over 40 boats for a weekend of racing and good fun. Other weekend regattas such as the SLAM weekend and the Tommy Hilfiger Ramla Bay Resort regatta are also well attended. Then there are the coastal or round the island races such as the International Yacht Paint Double Handed Round Malta Race, the BOV Round Islands Race, the Oiltanking Vega Race, the Raymarine Double Handed Figure of Eight Race and the Medcomms Round Malta Race. The Malta Syracuse is an important regional race usually attracting over 100 boats mostly from nearby Sicily. The highlight of the year is unquestionably the Rolex Middle Sea Race which has now become established as one of the top international offshore races for which typically an impressive international and highly competitive fleet of around 70 boats enter.
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Wind in his sails Spinnaker meets Anthony Camilleri, winner of the International Yacht Paint Double Handed Round Malta race on board Windward.
nthony Camilleri, 53, started dinghy sailing when he was six years old and was the national dinghy champion in the Enterprise Class in the late 1970s and early 1980s. Anthony has also sailed the Rolex Middle Sea Race 12 times and won the Double Handed Division twice – in 2008 with Bavaria Flyer MLT52 – Windward and in 2010 with BOV Plain Sailing – Tango34.
When did you acquire Windward and what attracted you to the boat?
Camilleri participated and won the Cruiser Division of the International Yacht Paint Double Handed Round Malta race three times – 2009, 2010 and this year – all three races on board Windward.
Windward is essentially a comfortable cruising boat, equipped with the latest equipment and geared for shorthanded cruising – it’s probably the only boat in Malta equipped with a Selden electric furling mast and a Furlex electric headsail furler. For ease of handling shorthanded, four out of the six Lewmar self-tailing winches are also electric. Sails are Mylar laminate cruising furling sails by Elvstrom.
An engineer by profession, Anthony is director and owner of A.C. Marine Co. Ltd, established in 1994. A.C. Marine is mainly involved in the importation and servicing of Bavaria sailing yachts, T-yachts, Selden masts and rigging equipment, Furlex, Elvstron sails, Sleipner/Marinno bow and stern thrusters and Ambassador Marine rope strippers.
ANTHONY CAMILLERI Being the official
dealer for Bavaria Sailing Yachts in Malta, I owned, sailed and raced at least seven Bavarias in the last two decades. Windward is a 15-metre Bavaria from the Vision Series designed by J&J and built by Bavaria Yachts in 2008.
Although Windward is essentially a cruising boat with a furling mast and equipped with genset, aircon and tunnel bow thrusters, it still performs well and with ease of handling.
S What are the highlights, to date, on board Windward? AC Windward has won many local races in the Cruising Division especially the shorthanded races in the last four years. However, the best achievement in the racing circuit on Windward is undoubtedly winning the Rolex Middle Sea Race Double Handed Division in 2008. Finishing a five-day race like the RMSR double handed is a feat in itself but winning the race on handicap and beating boats like Vento Di Sardenia (a 50ft racing boat also designed for shorthanded) and a Pogo 40 gives me great satisfaction. S As skipper, what is your role on board Windward? AC My role is mainly to helm the boat and decide on tactics, but when sailing shorthanded you have to share and coordinate all that needs to be done with the only crew on board. Having previously sailed with Gilbert Azzopardi as my crew has helped to achieve this year’s success. SPINNAKER / Issue 28 - 19
INTERVIEW S What preparations did you make for the International Yacht Paint Race? AC A few weeks before the race we lifted the boat out of the water as she had been in the water for 29 months since the last lift-out. We cleaned the bottom and sanded her smooth and applied two coats of the new International Micron 77 Antifouling. Having a clean bottom and a good paint was a good start and the result is proof of this. S How tough was the competition in this year’s International Yacht Paint Race? AC This year, there were 19 registrations for the race, and the competition was tougher. Apart from having a good number of entries in the cruiser class this year, there were also two brand new and competitive cruising boats that have not raced in our class before, namely Xplane, an XC 45 and Vanquish, a Grand Soleil 45 from San Diego, which happened to be wintering in Malta. Both these boats have a higher rating than Windward and should have been faster than our Bavaria, but we gave them a good run for their money
as we finished the race ahead of them boat for boat and without needing the handicap compensation.
S How was the race for you and what
were the highlights?
AC The weather conditions were perfect, with enough wind to keep Windward going and not too much wind to make it tough and tiring. We sailed 50 miles around Malta in 5 hours, 47 minutes, which gave us an excellent average speed of 8.65 knots and a maximum speed of 10.5 knots. During the race, we felt that we were doing very well as boats with a higher rating and race boats were behind us for most of the race. We were match racing Jonathan Gambin on his DU4, all through the race from start to finish. Windward finally finished only 10 seconds behind Du4 across the line and ended up nearly 14 minutes ahead on handicap. Winning the cruiser class for the third time was great but winning the race overall was a first. This meant that we finished ahead of all the race boats in the other two classes on handicap. We ended winning the overall trophy and
runner up was Ton Ton by a mere six seconds behind us on handicap.
S Any mishaps during the race? AC My crew Gilbert and I sailed a good race and achieved an excellent result. We were careful not to risk and take chances. Other boats were flying Gennakers and Spinnakers for a short time, while we opted to take a more cautious approach and in the end it paid. S Any more racing for Windward? AC Following the International Yacht Paint Double Handed Round Malta race, Windward’s next race was the Gewiss Marzamemi Offshore Weekend Regatta. Windward was again declared a winner in the cruiser class. Due to work commitments and a cruise planned on Windward over the summer holidays, I won’t be racing until autumn. I hope to participate in the next Double Handed Round Malta and Gozo Figure 8 race in autumn, which is also another good shorthanded race.
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What Artie did next After winning the Rolex Middle Sea Race 2011, Artie goes after more glory.
Artie at the Rolex Middle Sea Race 2011. Photo by Rolex/Kurt Arrigo
22 - SPINNAKER / Issue 28
Artie at the Rolex Middle Sea Race 2009. Photo by Rolex / Kurt Arrigo
t’s always a pleasure to meet Lee Satariano at the club bar casually – this time it was even better as it was with the purpose of discussing his next adventure. Artie will be participating in one of the most renowned distance races in the Mediterranean. The Giraglia Rolex Cup is an offshore classic which this year is celebrating its 60th anniversary. From the race start off the historic port of Saint-Tropez, the fleet heads to the idyllic Iles d’Hyères and across the sea to round the Giraglia, a rocky islet off northern Corsica, before racing to the finish off in San Remo, a total distance of 241-nautical miles. Lee is so excited that he immediately gets down to telling me about the events calendar which he knows by
heart. On June 2, the boat leaves Malta with four of the crew on board – the remaining four members will then fly out on June 7. The first race will be a night race on June 8 from San Remo to Saint-Tropez, which means that everything has to be in place and everyone must be ready by then. There is a full programme of coastal races on June 10, 11 and 12. Then on June 13, the boats leave Saint-Tropez, sail round the Giraglia and finish at San Remo with the prize giving ceremony scheduled there on the evening of June 15. Lee says all of this in practically one sentence, before I can get a question in. Was this a sort of prize for winning the Rolex Middle Sea Race last year, and is the crew going to be the same? There, I managed two questions at once.
Lee’s crew is the same with one exception – Isaac Borg decided he would rather tie the knot instead of doing the race. Christian Ripard will be his co-skipper, while the rest of the crew will include Matthew Gusman, Jan Rossi, Peter Valentino, Kurt Casapinta, John Cachia and the newcomer to replace Isaac will be Sam Pizzuto. “We were actually planning to do the Giraglia last year,” he says, “but the logistics are a nightmare. We only managed to find out actual details of the race at the beginning of April. Hopefully, Matthew Gusman will be able to conclude registration on his return from the Caribbean in the coming days.” They realised at a very late stage that they were going to have to do all the races since there are no discards. This
SPINNAKER / Issue 28 - 23
Artie owner/co-skipper Lee Satariano (left) and co-skipper Christian Ripard at the Rolex Middle Sea Race 2011. Photo by: Rolex / Kurt Arrigo
complicated the logistics even more, to the point that two apartments had to be hired just outside Saint-Tropez to have a base where to leave personal belongings during the racing and to return to after the main race. One of the deciding factors was that everyone had to pull their weight. “All crew members know what they have to do and are doing it with great enthusiasm – this was the only way we could pull it off.” The boat had been out of the water since mid-January and only went back in at the end of April after a massive amount of preparatory work that had been done. “But the boat is now looking in great shape and raring to go once again,” says Lee. Any new sails? “Let’s wait and see,” Lee replies. John Cachia is the man in charge of the sail wardrobe on Artie. They have all been repaired, dried and meticulously stored in the sail loft since the last Rolex Middle Sea Race. They had a serious problem with their instruments during the last Rolex Middle Sea Race, which cost them dearly in the amount of time lost – Lee reckons it was in the region of four hours throughout
24 - SPINNAKER / Issue 28
Jethou rounding Giraglia Rock. Photo by: Rolex / Carlo Borlenghi
the race. At times they were sailing at 20 degrees off course. Kurt Casapinta was obviously the man entrusted with solving this problem, but even with all his experience this was not an easy one. It was only through online blogs that Kurt realised that the compass was faulty. The manufacturer actually recalled a number of instruments, including Artie’s for replacement. Lee was a very happy man to learn this has now been resolved. The rigging has already been checked and will now be set and fine-tuned on the water. “The boat is in ship shape and we will be going all out to win and fly the Maltese flag up high in the event”. But the team have not been sailing together much? “No, not since the Rolex Middle Sea Race.” As we all know, we all have our own separate commitments to keep up with, we might perform to professional levels at times but indeed we are still amateurs. Lee says that they are very actively looking for a sponsor and may be soon in a position to conclude. However, there are still some minor details to tie down. “In any case, we must now get ourselves into full sailing mode,” Lee
says. “We will be participating in the Gewiss Marzamemi and Slam regattas besides any other time we can get to go out training.” Although this sounds a bit late, co-skipper Christian Ripard is confident that they can catch up and be in good shape at the right time. Following last year’s Rolex Middle Sea Race, Christian has kept himself very busy and did the Rolex Sydney Hobart for the fifth time on board Chris Bull’s Cookson 50, Jazz, placing first in their class and fourth overall. He also did The Caribbean 600 and The Heineken Regatta on board the Swan 90 Nefertiti. Christian is also very keen on doing the Giraglia for the very first time – yes surprise, surprise, he has not done this one yet. As always, Maltese sailors do not step aside from any of the big events. They may not be able to compete on certain grounds but will surely give any favourite a good run for their money on the overall outcome. One can also keep tabs with what is happening minute by minute through Facebook on their page ’Artie’ and via Twitter. Rumour has it that there are another two Maltese boats that might actually be competing in the Giraglia Rolex Cup this year. If this materialises, then we will have three boats to cheer on and as always may the best team win. Spinnaker and all at the Royal Malta Yacht Club wish all the participants at the Giraglia Rolex Cup fair winds and a great race.
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Furling systems for asymmetric spinnakers and cruising chutes This is all about enjoyment! For every sailor who is thrilled by boat speed in combination with fast and easy sail handling, SeldĂŠn GX is a new extra member of the crew. Unfurling an asymmetric spinnaker will give you instant gratification in terms of sailing performance and true sailing pleasure.
In light winds you can have the furled sail hoisted, ready for action. Once you are off the wind you simply release the furling line and pull on the sheet and the asymmetric spinnaker unfurls while you remain in the safety of the cockpit. You can enjoy this type of sail from about 70Â° apparent wind angle and when sailing dead down wind you pole it out to windward, preferably with a telescopic whisker pole. So, with a jib and an asymmetric spinnaker your performance is optimized for all wind angles. At the end of the day the furled sail is a neat, tight roll which is simple to bag and stows easily.
An asymmetric spinnaker with a mid girth of minimum 75% of the foot length measures as a regular down wind sail. This means you can combine it with your regular spinnakers without penalty within the ORCi and IRC rules. Just imagine what difference this will make to your sailing performance in the borderland between jib and spinnaker. A real game changer!
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SPINNAKER / Issue 28 - 27
Itâ€™s all in the details Recently, the Royal Malta Yacht Club held two sessions of race management talks at the club. Rear Commodore Racing Peter Dimech, who is also an ISAF International Race Officer, prepared two presentations for the participants.
he ISAF Racing rules of sailing are the reference point for all race management. My first session at the talks held by the Royal Malta Yacht Club covered event planning. We talked about what makes an event, its timing in relation to other sporting events that may draw on the same spectators, competitors or safety crews. We also tackled choice and adequacy of the location. Was the seabed suitable for anchoring, were there any local currents to effect sailing, and did the area have clean winds? We looked at the formal set-up or chain of command for any proposed event and how all events lead back to ISAF, through the national body. This included a look at the committees needed to run a good event, and what personal qualities are needed.
We then moved on to the various roles and areas of responsibility of the key positions on the committee boat. These include visual and sound signals, timekeeper and recorders, the course setter and line sighting at the start, and co-ordination with the pinend boat.
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On-shore organisation for the social, press and sponsors alike was also discussed. Any event improves because of spectator value â€“ however, this needs good publicity which in turn brings in better sponsorship. In this respect we discussed how a good front office deals with entries, information, publishing notices and general information. A back office can then handle printing and photocopy support, weather reports, and processing results, protest hearings and technical details. The back office also handles the communications centre during the event.
Part two, held the following Tuesday evening, was attended by a few who had missed the first part. It is always encouraging when members turn up in numbers. We also reached a varied cross section of competitors, volunteers and members from other sailing clubs in Malta.
Controlling spectator craft on the race area and the positioning of media craft is always a hot topic. In line with the need to accommodate the media, the sport needs to afford them a front line view, while at the same time not obstructing or hampering the competitors. We looked at some diagrams for positioning camera craft out of the race area but close to start lines and windward and leeward marks.
Getting down to the racecourse itself, we looked at the various course geometries. These include the triangle, windward-leeward, trapezoid, gates and offset marks as well as the flexibility and function for multiple classes in each case. A healthy discussion was generated about the whiteboard diagram of a gate.
Part one was concluded with a look at the layout for visual signals on the committee boat.
Following on from the first session, we looked at the duties of the race officials team on the day of the event, starting from officials meetings, safety briefing, weather reports, team leader daily meetings.
The start is always of critical importance in a regatta. We looked at the guideline for its length and for angle in relation to the wind. The start sequence as detailed in the RRS was
explained with reference to all the start, when to use the postponement signal and the application of the five penalty signals. We discussed the effects of using each signal, both on the fleet and on the race officials. We also focused on the concept of a broad start line and the need for communication between the pin-end and the committee boat at the start, as well as on the need to raise the individual recall signal, with its sound signal, within the regulation time. We looked at how the wind is constantly monitored during the race, and how conditions may cause a race to be abandoned and what happens when to do so. It is not only a lack of wind, but also too much that may cause abandonment. Is it still safe to race?
Has the wind shift been too much left or right and at what stage in the race? Can a race be abandoned fairly? The next topic discussed was about moving marks. What signals should be displayed and sounds made. Where could such signals be made, remembering that with most classes it is only the flags and sounds that pass the message on. Having visual and sound signals ensures that all competitors receive the same communication at the same time and interpret it in the same manner. Using VHF voice messages opens the race committee to possibly different interpretations. Coming to the finish, we looked at the positioning of a finish line in various areas of a racecourse, including the use of a shortened
I wish to thank all those who attended – and remember that the club always has room for more volunteers. A job shared is one done well.
Finally the talk was brought to a close with a look at the post race duties, including self-evaluation, discussion with the race team, scoring results and the possibility of a session in the protest room.
course signal and repositioning of the finish line. We also looked at the possibility of a boat that finished but did not clear the line as against one that finished and cleared the line. The importance of recording the finish on both paper format and voice recorder was heavily emphasised. One can re-start a race but the finish only happens once.
Minimum size of flags – 60cm x 90cm
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SPINNAKER / Issue 28 - 29
One-design B/ONE by BAVARIA – website goes live BAVARIA YACHTBAU GmbH caused a sensation at boot 2012 in Düsseldorf when it announced plans to enter the sport boat/ daysailor segment. This new one-design boat has more than just an innovative construction: “The B/ONE is aimed at a completely new target group – which poses new challenges for sales and marketing,” said Alexander Knesewitsch, Head of Marketing and PR at BAVARIA. “This is why we are launching our new baby independently as B/ONE by BAVARIA, and separate to our BAVARIA CRUISER und SPORT collections.” Consequently, the B/ONE is available at all BAVARIA dealers and also from new, official B/ONE partners as part of a wider distribution network.
The B/ONE also has its own, dedicated website: www.sail-b1.com. “We want the B/ONE to open up sailing to a wider audience. Its affordable entry-level price and minimum crewing requirements make the B/ONE quite simply an invitation to go sailing. You could say: B ONE of us!“ Alexander Knesewitsch commented. The new website also reflects this motto. And it includes a blog where sailing enthusiasts can follow the latest production developments, as the B/ONE takes shape. B/ONE owners will also be able to communicate with one another via the site and share sailing experiences. In addition, the website contains comments from the designer and technical data, as well as the B/ONE price list and dealer details.
B/one soon in Malta, â‚Ź22,900 including sails. A.C. Marine Co. Ltd. 189 /1 Marina Street Pieta' PTA 9041 Malta
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M ATC H R A C I N G
One on one Godwin Zammit sets match racing alight. This article was first published in the Malta Independent.
“It is as much a test of sailing and boat handling skill as is it a psychological battle trying to intimidate your opponent and anticipate their next move.” Match racing is a sailing discipline where different teams sail on two identical boats against each other in a tournament format. Malta Match Racing currently stage informal match racing events on two H-Boats in Marsamxett Harbour. Match racing is different to normal sailing racing because it involves just two boats racing against each other at one time. In match racing second place is actually last place and this results in a more intense competition with a first or nothing attitude resulting in very different tactics to normal fleet racing. Most match racing events take the form of a tournament style competition with between six to 10 teams racing against each other, first in a round robin and then in semi-finals and finals to determine the winner. Since the whole event is sailed in identical boats and each team swaps boats after each race, it is the skill of the crew that determines the winner. The Malta Match Racing group started match racing with the current setup in 2006 when BMW Malta gave us the opportunity to represent Malta in the BMW
Sailing World Cup – this is like the America’s Cup and is sailed in a match-racing format. The Founder, David Franks who very generously sponsored the whole setup until very recently, was the winner of the BMW Malta Sailing Cup in 2006 and again in 2008 with his boat Strait Dealer. To prepare for the BMW Sailing World Cup, Franks purchased the two h-boats and brought over Graham Sunderland, a UK National Champion in Match Racing, to train us. Since then four Maltese teams have trained at our events for as many as four BMW Sailing World Cups and represented Malta in Valencia, Dubai, Garda and Auckland, New Zealand. I was fortunate to be part of two teams who were given the opportunity of a lifetime to participate in the first ever BMW World Cup in Valencia, Spain and the third one in Malcesine, Lago di Garda, Italy. Both events were an amazing experience, both for myself and for the Maltese teams who took part, since the BMW Sailing World Cup attracts the highest level of amateur sailors and is organised to the highest standard. The racing was as competitive as ever and at times the Maltese teams featured well, but to date we have not managed to achieve a podium finish. Currently we have 10 teams on our ranking list. Six of these are very experienced
and have been match racing with us since the beginning while the others are novices and improving fast.
battle trying to intimidate your opponent and anticipate their next move, a little bit like heads up poker or chess.
To participate, check out our Facebook page, like it and send a message. Depending on your experience, we can either put you in contact with teams looking for crew, or if you feel up to it, make a team of four people and join in the fun.
Umpires are extremely important in match racing, just like referees in all other sports. To be a good umpire one must know how to sail and understand the match racing rules, which at times can be quite complex. Although we have a strong following from sailing teams, currently we do not have enough umpires to stage proper events without the help of our international friends. Our clinic is aimed at providing the necessary training for people who want to take up the role of match race umpiring.
We also organise a clinic for new teams, where the more experienced teams will teach the newcomers over an intensive weekend of match racing. In match racing, I enjoy the tight bond between all the crew on a match racing team. This is even more than on a normal sailing crew since each position on the crew is so tightly linked together that it takes a massive effort from the whole crew to have a chance to win a match race. Secondly I enjoy the direct competition with my opponent which in match racing is like no other form of sailing. It is as much a test of sailing and boat handling skill as is it a psychological
Our founder and sponsor has moved on to bigger and better things, but before doing so he loaned the boats and equipment to the Royal Malta Yacht Club, which is now the main sponsor of our program. This has openened up exciting new opportunities since we will have the backing of the largest sailing club in Malta who are also the organisers of the Rolex Middle Sea Race.
SPINNAKER / Issue 28 - 33
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Slam Weekend Regatta results IRC Racer Class I The experienced Juno crew did well to win both their Class and the Overall Slam Trophy in style by winning the five races, but not before overriding the tough challenge that Comanche Raider II offered. Rebel clinched third place.
IRC Racer Class II
What a show The Slam Weekend Regatta was a showcase for bravery and keen seamanship, says Teddie Borg.
he Slam Weekend Regatta, regarded as one of the toughest contests for keel boats and dinghies was once again organised by the Royal Malta Yacht Club and supported by RLR, local distributor of SLAM. Reinforced by this particular weekend reputation, the regatta was a spectacle sailing challenge both inside and outside of Marsamxett Harbour, over a three-day period. Under the gloomy clouds and fairly strong winds, most of the downwind runs experienced many a slam until quite a few spinnakers gave way or got tangled, at a rather strange zone area, on the well planned courses round the marks â€“ luckily enough, no skipper reported any particular damage to the boat. The race proved to be a coastal sprint that demanded endurance and experienced seamanship with professionals and amateurs, veterans and rookies, and even kids joining in the fun. After each racing day, it was just drink and fun, with a barbeque dinner at the RMYC, followed by the prize giving which included trophies and Slam products.
The Jawbreaker crew were more than happy to win their class, especially when the crew aboard were almost all youngsters. Gaining the runner-up position in the overall Class was an added achievement to these youngsters and one that made them proud of this positive result. Runner-up position was won by Mischief while Inspiration did well to get third place.
Cruiser Class There was also quite a keen competition in this class with X Plane being unbeaten in all four races. Amica offered a stern challenge but in the end succeeded in winning the runner-up position with third place going to Vanquish.
Dinghy Class Results Over 20 young kids raced in the Optimists Classes round the trapezoidal course with the following podium results:
1st Thomas Bonello Ghio 2nd Justin Busuttil 3rd Alex Esposito
1st Matthew Micallef 2nd Craig Farrugia Vella 3rd Shaun Miggiani
1st Tino Bonnici 2nd Lucas Legault 3rd Jake Satariano For full details visit www.rmyc.org
SPINNAKER / Issue 28 - 35
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Sail into spring The first race of the Royal Malta Yacht Club Spring Series took place on Sunday, March 18. Five boats participated in this race, which was a short coastal race to Delimara in a light breeze. The second and third races were again coastal races with six boats participating in near perfect sailing weather. The fleet sailed to Munxar cardinal buoy and back for the second race. The third race saw the boats sail north to the tuna pens, off St. Paulâ€™s Bay and back to finish at the club. The last two races of the RMYC Spring Series 2012 were held on Sunday, April 1. Prize giving followed at the Royal Malta Yacht Club.
SPINNAKER / Issue 28 - 37
PAIN, GAIN, AND GLORY FOR CAMPER EMIRATES TNZ Camper Emirates TNZ wins the Volvo Ocean Race 2012. Teddie Borg reports from Auckland.
V O LV O R A C E
fter a 10-year gap, Auckland, the city of sails, was once again a magnificent backdrop to the battling of the final throes of the Volvo Ocean Race 2012’s 5220nm leg from Sanya in China. As the official stop-over of the fourth leg, the Auckland Viaduct was transformed into a vibrant race village for both locals and visitors, who enjoyed an-11 day global party with full entertainment on daily basis. I was one of the visitors and experienced the unparalleled welcome that Auckland port gave the crews, following an arduous leg through potentially gale force winds, perilous seas and the more dreaded alternative – light and fickle winds. These tough crews on board the six-boat fleet faced extreme sleep deprivation, hunger and exhaustion. In fact, several prominent sailors criticised the schedule of the Volvo Ocean Race 2012 stop-overs, which left the exhausted crews with only a few days of rest for the next leg.
No wonder that skipper of Camper ETNZ Chris Nicholson burst abruptly saying, “A few of us were thinking about staying in our wet weather gear and just keep going – it would be easier than going to a motel and great food. It’ll take a team that’s got some character to be able to turn around and be ready for the five-week southern ocean racing in only less than one week rest.”
While the fourth leg winner Groupama skipper Franck Cammas doused his teammates in champagne during the on-stage celebrations, the rest of the fleet were slogging it out in the darkness further up the coast for the remaining podium places. The last 200nm from North Cape was a mighty three-way tussle between Puma, Camper ETNZ and the overall race leaders Telefonica. American skipper Ken Read got his Puma the runner up position, leaving the Kiwi boat eking every last metre out of its home advantage, pursuing Spanish Telefonica up the harbour. It was a gut-wrenching end to what had been a tough leg for the Kiwis.
find some racetrack where it’s not tight reaching. The next leg will give us just that,” he said. The fifth leg – Auckland to Itajai – is the hardest in the five -month race since it started in Alicante last October, facing another gruelling five non-stop weeks of high ocean swells the size of buildings, storm-force winds, freezing temperatures as well as taking on Chile’s infamous Cape Horn. Fingers crossed, Australian skipper Chris Nicholson felt that his Kiwi boat was a robust one and one that can pull through even though any boat can break in these kinds of inhuman conditions.
As if skippering a multi-million dollar race boat round the world wasn’t stressful enough, try being an Aussie at the helm of an underperforming Kiwi VOR campaign as it headed for home.
Sanya’s skipper Mike Sanderson, last in overall standings, led the fleet out of Auckland to an overwhelming local support across the harbour – a huge achievement considering that the Chinese boat is a recycled one from the 2005/6 race.
Emirates Team New Zealand boss Grant Dalton, a two-time Whitbread/ Volvo winner, expressed his utter disappointment to me at this unexpected and unwelcome home result, one that the Kiwis were looking forward for a win at least in this home leg.
But with the Volvo Ocean Race fleet headed straight for a real test of the worst elements ahead with gale force winds warnings in place, the celebrations will be muted as the crews brace for some rough nights ahead for the longest leg of 6705nm to Brazil.
But skipper Chris Nicholson – a Rolex Middle Sea Race winner on Morning Glory a few years ago – had no regrets about the way his team sailed this particular leg. “If you left everything out there, you can’t have any regrets. We need to
With a mix of eagerness and trepidation, Nicholson’s view is that, “We haven’t had the chance to prove to the sailing world our potential yet. We welcome some pretty tough conditions down south and we will happily take our chances.”
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SPINNAKER / Issue 28 - 39
V O LV O R A C E
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V O LV O R A C E
01 Skipper Franck Cammas from France and Martin Krite from Sweden spray a magnum of champagne. Groupama Sailing Team celebrate winning the DHL In-Port Race Itajai, Brazil, in the Volvo Ocean Race 2011-12. (Photo by Paul Todd / Volvo Ocean Race). 02 Helming onboard Puma Ocean Racing powered by Berg in heavy Southern Ocean weather, during leg five of the Volvo Ocean Race 2011-12, from Auckland, New Zealand to Itajai, Brazil. (Photo by Amory Ross / Puma Ocean Racing/Volvo Ocean Race). 03 The fleet of Volvo Open 70â€™s round one of the marks in Auckland Harbour, at the start of leg five from Auckland, New Zealand to Itajai, Brazil, during the Volvo Ocean Race 2011-12. (Photo by Paul Todd / Volvo Ocean Race).
04 Camper with Emirates Team New Zealand, skippered by Chris Nicholson from Australia, battling with Team Telefonica, as they sail past Cape Reinga, in the final miles to the finish of leg four in Auckland, during the Volvo Ocean Race 2011-12. (Photo by Ian Roman / Volvo Ocean Race). 05 Optimist sailors competing in the Volvo Ocean Race Academy, in the Volvo Ocean Race village in Itajai, Brazil, during the Volvo Ocean Race 2011-12. (Photo by Paul Todd / Volvo Ocean Race). 06Skipper Chris Nicholson on deck for a sail change onboard Camper with Emirates Team New Zealand during leg five of the Volvo Ocean Race 2011-12, from Auckland, New Zealand to Itajai, Brazil. (Photo by Hamish Hooper / Camper ETNZ / Volvo Ocean Race).
07 Groupama Sailing Team, skippered by Franck Cammas from France, sailing past Takou Bay, in the final sprint to the finish in Auckland, during the Volvo Ocean Race 2011-12. (Photo by Ian Roman / Volvo Ocean Race). 08 Team Sanya, skippered by Mike Sanderson from New Zealand are followed in to port by spectator boats as they finish leg four in Auckland, during the Volvo Ocean Race 2011-12. (Photo by Ian Roman / Volvo Ocean Race).
09 Puma Ocean Racing powered by Berg, skippered by Ken Read from the USA is followed by spectator boats as they take second place on leg four in Auckland, during the Volvo Ocean Race 201112. (Photo by Ian Roman / Volvo Ocean Race). 10 Camper with Emirates Team New Zealand, skippered by Chris Nicholson from Australia on the lead followed by Team Sanya, skippered by Mike Sanderson from New Zealand and Puma Ocean Racing powered by Berg, skippered by Ken Read from the USA during the start of leg five of the Volvo Ocean Race 2011-12, from Auckland, New Zealand to Itajai, Brazil. (Photo by Ian Roman / Volvo Ocean Race).
11 Puma Ocean Racing powered by Berg, skippered by Ken Read from the USA, changing sails whilst crashing through waves in heavy weather, at the start of leg 5 from Auckland, New Zealand to Itajai, Brazil, during the Volvo Ocean Race 2011-12. (Photo by Paul Todd / Volvo Ocean Race). 12 Puma Ocean Racing powered by Berg, skippered by Ken Read from the USA during the start of leg five of the Volvo Ocean Race 2011-12, from Auckland, New Zealand to Itajai, Brazil. (Photo by Ian Roman / Volvo Ocean Race).
SPINNAKER / Issue 28 - 41
“Late in the race, GasanMamo Comanche Raider II managed to break away from Juno and was the first boat of the fleet to cross the line.”
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Gearing up for the racing season Improving performance is a constant challenge for GasanMamo Comanche Raider II sailing yacht. After an unfortunate retirement in last year’s Rolex Middle Sea Race due to problems with the rudder bearing, the crew is looking below the water line to improve the keel, hull and rudder. Spinnaker talks to skipper Jonas Diamantino for the latest on the sailing scene.
n the first races of the season, GasanMamo Comanche Raider II was in top form and was off to an impressive start. “This means that work carried out over the winter has had the desired effect,” says owner Jonas Diamantino. “In February, we lifted the boat and stripped out the rudder bearings for servicing and repair. We also stripped and faired the keel to ensure that keel shape is perfectly equal on both sides. We then concentrated on the hull. All old antifouling paint, about 13 years’ worth, was removed and the hull carefully inspected for defects which we quickly repaired. “After exhaustive research, we discovered a new state-of-the-art anti-fouling that will significantly improve the boat’s performance. And with a now near-perfect surface we could apply the primer. The propeller hub was also replaced with new advanced technology propeller blades that reduce underwater drag.” After a rigorous two-month maintenance period, the boat was ready to race in April. And once back in the water, the crew stepped up their regular training session. Typically two marks (buoys) are identified and a serious of upwind and downwind legs are sailed. The distance between the buoys is usually quite short, which means that the crew have to work hard and cohesively as a team to ensure that sails are ready and go up, on rounding the mark. At each mark rounding there are a few minutes of intense activity requiring at least eight crew members to get it right. The idea is to round the mark and have the appropriate sail hoisted and powered up as quickly as possible. The first race – a double-handed round-Malta – saw GasanMamo
Comanche Raider II pick a rival experienced sailor Paul Ellul from a boat called Juno. Double-handed means a crew of only two as opposed to the usual eight to 11. As Paul did not know Comanche well, Jonas decided to sail conservatively. After five hours and 33 minutes Comanche crossed the finishing line first, and on corrected time placed second. In the same event in 2011, Comanche won the event and retains the course record of five hours three minutes and 21 seconds (then sailed by Ramon Sant Hill and Jonas). The first of these three races kicked off in a wind of only 3.5 knots – an almost dead-down wind. In these conditions, average boat speeds ranged from zero to two knots. Many boats quickly made their calculations and realised that they would not make the 23:30 cut off time in Marzamemi. By 12:15, having only covered three to six miles, boats started retiring in quick succession. A few boats such as Whistler Wolfpack with 10 youngsters on board, and Moondance with five, stuck it out and retired at 14:30. A persistent Lartista retired at 6:00. Hats off to them. With better wind conditions, the first racing of the weekend proved to be exciting. 21 boats entered the race – seven Maltese and 14 Italians. After a short delay an exciting mass start was signalled. Rebel, with Aziza Maltese crew quickly took the lead and rounded the windward mark first, quickly followed by Whistler Wolfpack. However, soon after turning the mark Juno and GasanMamo Comanche Raider II quickly overtook them and led the fleet down to the leeward mark. Both Juno and Comanche had crew up the mast looking for the windward yellow mark which was discreetly camouflaged in front of a yellow house on shore. First, second and third place
were taken by Juno (Sonke Stein), GasanMamo Comanche Raider II (Jonas Diamantino) and Ton Ton (Jonathan Gambin). The remaining Maltese boats took fifth, seventh, eighth, and 10th place. Hopes for a good wind for the race back to Malta were fading fast – speculation was high but the forecast low. Happily a decent 10 to 12 knots ENE greeted the slightly hungover crews in the early morning. At 8:25 the first warning signal was sounded and at 8:30 the cruisers commenced racing, followed by the racers. A shy downwind start saw a number of different sails being used, ranging from Genoas to Code Zeros to symmetric and asymmetric spinnakers. In the racer division Juno and Comanche settled down for a nine and half hour battle, never more than a few metres away from each other. Late in the race, GasanMamo Comanche Raider II managed to break away from Juno and was the first boat of the fleet to cross the line (9 minutes 36 seconds ahead of Juno factoring in handicap). Comanche Raider II just edged out Juno by 27 seconds taking first place in Racer Division 1, followed by Juno in second place and Aziza (Sandro Musu) in third place. Comanche Raider II has been supported by GasanMamo Insurance for the past eight years. Since 2004 GasanMamo Insurance has been the official sponsor of this boat and has monitored closely its participation in the numerous events and witnessed its steady improvement. “It is with much satisfaction that we share Comanche’s first successes of the season which augur well for the rest of the year,” said Julian J. Mamo, Director at GasanMamo Insurance.
SPINNAKER / Issue 28 - 43
IN FIRST PLACE Ramon Sant Hill on winning the Gewiss Marzamemi Offshore Weekend Regatta. What is your history with Comanche Raider II?
RAMON SANT HILL Nine years ago, the boat I was a crew member on was not going to race the Rolex Middle Sea Race, so I started asking around to see if there was room for me on other boats. Jonas Diamantino, the owner of Comanche Raider I, asked me to join. I kept a very good relationship with Jonas, so when he bought Comanche Raider II, I stayed on. S Have you raced in the Marzamemi race before? RSH Some nine years ago, the Royal Malta Yacht Club decided to start organising a race from Malta to Marzamemi and I’ve participated in all the races. S As skipper, what is your role on board Comanche Raider II? RSH My role is mainly driving the boat. I take care of the boat, do training sessions, and coordinate meetings for the crew. It is hard to find crew nowadays as everyone is very busy with other things. S How tough was the competition in this year’s Marzamemi race? RSH The Marzamemi race is always tough, because we are part of a group of four boats that sail with the same speed but with different handicap ratings. We are the highest rated boat of all four, so it’s always very hard for us. S How was the race for you, and what were the highlights? RSH I greatly enjoyed the race. On the way up, we had no wind, but on the way down the wind was good and we averaged nine knots. Moreover, the party at Marzamemi is always great and we get to meet other crews and enjoy it with them. 44 - SPINNAKER / Issue 28
Gewiss Marzamemi Offshore Weekend Regatta 2012 The Royal Malta Yacht Club once again organised the popular Gewiss Marzamemi Offshore Weekend Regatta from April 28 to May 1. A briefing was held at the Royal Malta Yacht Club on Wednesday, April 25, while a fleet of 47 boats sailed up to Sicily on Saturday, April 28 at 8:00am. This year a race was also organised in collaboration with Circolo Velico Scirocco Delegazione di Marzamemi and Yacht Club Marzamemi on Sunday, April 29. The prize giving ceremony was held on Saturday, May 5 at the club.
Malta-Marzamemi- Malta Offshore Races Past winners 2008 Malta/Marzamemi
Comanche Raider II
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SPINNAKER / Issue 28 - 45
Taking the honours Windward wins the International Yacht Paint Double Handed Round Malta race.
he Royal Malta Yacht Club organised the fifth edition of the International Yacht Paint Double Handed Round Malta Race on Sunday, April 15, 2012.
A fleet of 17 boats competed in the race. Anthony Camilleri on Windward was first in the cruising class and the overall winner. Nicky Sammut on Ton Ton won Racer Class 1 while Anthony Miggiani on Jaw Breaker was first in Racer Class 2. During the prize giving ceremony held on Wednesday, April 17 at the Royal Malta Yacht Club, Andrew Magri Overand, Managing Director of MacMed Co ltd, local agents for International Yacht Paint, presented prizes to the winners. He also outlined the various marine products represented by his company. Godwin Zammit, Commodore, Royal Malta Yacht Club thanked MacMed Co ltd, local agents for International Paint for their continued support in sponsoring this race.
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SPINNAKER / Issue 28 - 47
The 2010 overall winner: Lucky, skippered by Bryon Ehrhart. Photo by Rolex/Kurt Arrigo
ounded in 1968 by two Maltese brothers (the Ripards) and two Englishmen residing in Malta, the Rolex Middle Sea Race has become one of the most prestigious offshore races in the world.
The Rolex Middle Sea Race
The competition, celebrating its 33rd edition in October 2012, is unique for a race of its length. It starts and finishes from the same place – Malta’s magnificent and historical capital Valletta, the city built by “gentlemen for gentlemen”. More precisely, the race commences from the impressive Grand Harbour and its finishing line lies just in front of the state-ofthe-art Royal Malta Yacht Club premises at the nearby Marsamxett Harbour. This offshore classic is challenging on many levels. In simplistic terms, the course is 606nm counter clockwise challenge around the island of Sicily, incorporating most of its outlying islands into the course. The course itself encompasses the Strait of Messina, after passing from under the Etna volcano, leading north to the Aeolian Islands and the other active volcano of Stromboli, then west to Egadi Islands and the turn towards the race’s most southerly points, the island of Pantelleria and Lampedusa.
Sönke Stein racing the BOV Kerisma at the 2009 Rolex Middle Sea Race. Photo by Rolex/Kurt Arrigo.
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The Rolex Middle Sea Race is organised by the Royal Malta Yacht Club in association with the Royal Ocean Racing Club and has been successfully sponsored by Rolex SA of Geneva since the year 2002.
Pace, skippered by Johnny Vincent, at the 2010 Rolex Middle Sea Race. Photo by Rolex/Kurt Arrigo.
Andres Soriano crossing the finish line at the Rolex Middle Sea Race 2010. Photo by Rolex/Rene Rossignaud.
Photo by Rolex/Kurt Arrigo
Alegre at the Grand Harbour during the 2009 Rolex Middle Sea Race. Photo by Rolex/Kurt Arrigo.
Artie, skippered by Lee Satariano and Christian Ripard. Photo by Rolex/Kurt Arrigo.
SPINNAKER / Issue 28 - 49
Stephen Tan’s Jelik 5 arrives in Subic Bay. Photo by Rolex / Daniel Forster
The Rolex CHINA Sea Race 2012 marked the 50th Anniversary race of the Rolex China Sea Race, an offshore yachting classic. “The Royal Hong Kong Yacht Club is proud that in that time, the 565-nautical mile course from Hong Kong to the Philippines has grown to become not only the club’s flagship sailing event, but an event that is widely recognised as Asia’s premier offshore race,” said Royal Hong Kong Yacht Club Commodore Ambrose Lo. The Rolex China Sea Race is also recognised for exemplifying two important cornerstones in the sport of offshore yachting: team spirit and determination. The impressive history of the Rolex China Sea Race reinforces its position as a truly international challenge. As far back as 1972, the race was endorsed by the Royal Ocean Racing Club, a world leader in offshore race management and the organisers of the Rolex Fastnet Race, one of the three other offshore classics supported by Rolex. Geoff Hill, owner of the Maxi Genuine Risk, the first boat to finish this year’s Rolex China Sea Race, confirmed the
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importance of this recognition. “The Royal Ocean Racing Club clearly understands the challenge, quality and complexity of this race for it to appear in their calendar and to be run under their auspices. This race is world-class,” he said. As a team sport, yacht-racing crews competing offshore must work together towards the common goal of completing the race. This shared motivation is a key attribute that must be in place from the very outset to the end of any campaign, from the preparation of the boat and personnel ahead of the start, to the management of equipment and the crew’s wellbeing during the race. The Rolex China Sea Race demonstrates too how team spirit even unites people separated by cultural boundaries and national borders, as Lindsay Lyons, in charge of RHKYC Race & Regatta Promotions, confirms. “One of the things that you see in a team sport like sailing is that the sport itself actually transcends any cultural backgrounds the participants
might have,” she said. “More than 18 nationalities are represented amongst the crews competing this year.” As one of the oldest yacht clubs in Asia, and certainly the oldest sailing and rowing club in Hong Kong, the Royal Hong Kong Yacht Club is a prime mover in encouraging team spirit across cultural divides. According to Lyons, as the sport of sailing grows in Asia its internationalism penetrates the club and its activities. “At present, the club membership comprises approximately half Hong Kong or Chinese and the remaining half from some 40 other nationalities,” she explained. For Jonathon Mahoney, owner of Zanzibar and based in Singapore some 1,500 nm by sea from Hong Kong, the determination to take part paid off. The reward for his significant effort was the greatest possible: finishing the 2012 Rolex China Sea Race with the best correctedtime – Zanzibar took home the overall title and a Rolex Yacht-Master as its prize.
Start of the 50th Anniversary Rolex China Sea Race. Photo by Rolex / Daniel Forster
Geoff Hill and Genuine Risk are another example of the worthwhile nature of overcoming obstacles, that perseverance and resolve are admirable traits. Hill only recently acquired the 90-foot Genuine Risk and with the yacht arriving in Hong Kong just a few weeks ahead of the start, time was his biggest challenge in preparing for the Rolex China Sea Race. Hill, though, is no stranger to facing up to the challenges surrounding offshore racing. In the 2008 Rolex China Sea Race, during the first night at sea, Hill’s then yacht, the 52-foot Strewth, lost its keel 200-nautical miles from the nearest land. Her crew faced a real fight to keep the boat from capsizing in the choppy China Sea. Instead of panicking and abandoning their yacht, they resolved to turn around and return to Hong Kong. A perilous task given the distance and sea conditions. They were not alone in their ambitious venture for long. Help came in the form of fellow racer Olivier Decamps, skipper on Cloud, who had
spotted a distress signal set off by Strewth. “The whole crew decided, and very quickly, that there was no other decision to take,” said Decamps, on discovering what had happened. “ Cloud selflessly accompanied Strewth all the way back to Hong Kong displaying an aspect of team spirit and determination that went beyond individual teams competing against one another. In 2012, Hill armed with knowledge and experience of race and its potential pitfalls, embraced the challenges, properly preparing his new yacht and forming a cohesive, motivated team by taking the nucleus of his crew from previous Rolex China Sea Race campaigns and successfully blending other sailors from Hong Kong, the Philippines, Australia and America into the mix. Like Mahoney, Hill was rewarded for his endeavour. As the first yacht home on the water, he secured the line honours trophy and a Rolex Yacht-Master.
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SPINNAKER / Issue 28 - 51
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The Sportyak 213 is the ideal dinghy
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R M YC
Welcome to the new RMYC members Claire McCoy Emilie Martinet Helene Vigebjork Thomas Vigebjork Uwe and Alessia Malezki Dr Peter Baxter Josef and Andrea Schultes Colin Best Anna Maria Sudzuka Michael J.H Hughes and Gerardine White Ivan Mifsud Andrea Ruckstuhl Paul and Tanya McMorris Stanley and Simone Borg Sandro Bartoli Vincent Bugeja Hans Lanik Captain Andrew Hall
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Kurt Casapinta Rachel Cassar De Sain Charlo Briffa Joseph Portelli Godfrey Schembri Johann Cuschieri Dr Austin Sammut Filippo Mantegazza and Daniela Gementi Fabio and Maria Parisini Mark Portelli Simon and Marita Jagals Cassidy Woods Albert Cauchi John Bonello Ghio Chris Knights Ashley Meyers Jacqueline Bateman Mario Aquilina
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