PR pair take second in Little America’s Cup
Puerto Rico’s Enrique Figueroa and Jorge Hernandez narrowly missed out on overall victory in the recent International Catamaran Challenge Trophy (ICCT), dubbed the ‘Little America’s Cup’. Sailing in F18HTs, slightly narrower than Tornados, the pair were pipped in the first to four points match racing series by US Olympic Silver Medallists and defending champions John Lovell and Charlie Ogletree.
The two crews have been rivals since meeting each other in the Tornado class at the Olympic Games and battled it out on the 2.5 mile course that saw 12 knot breezes in some places and lead-sapping holes in others. But the Puerto Ricans couldn’t overturn the Americans’ 3-1 lead going into the final day and had to settle for second place.
The Little America’s Cup was started in 1961 and replicates the system where international challengers vie for the right to battle the defending country’s representative.
Key West to see record entries
A record number of entries, topping 2001’s tally of 326 boats, is expected for January’s Key West Race, despite the damage Florida suffered in this year’s hurricane season. The event, which runs from January 17 to 21, offers competition in 20 classes on 4 divisions, from the PHRF classes to the one designs. For the latter, a Transpac 52 Class has been added this year, complementing last year’s Swan 45 and C&C 99 debuts.
NZ Supermaxi heading for Caribbean
The 2005 Caribbean regatta season looks set to host yet another record-breaking yacht, with the proposed participation of a new 100′ Supermaxi from New Zealand. Team EBS Yachting’s Greg Elliot-designed yacht, which has a canting keel and rotating wing mast, is aiming to be the world’s fastest monohull. She is scheduled to appear at the St Thomas International Regatta and Antigua Sailing Week. Elliot has form – having designed Mari Cha IV, 2004’s record-breaker.
Farewell Formula 1
UK based charter firm Formula 1 has gone into receivership. The three-year old company’s fleet of Farr 65s, which have been regular performers on the Caribbean regatta circuit and the ARC are on sale. Formula 1’s Farr 65 Spirit of Mertice, AKA Hugo Boss, came 2nd in the 2003 Fastnet and is on the market for $860,000 plus tax.
Aquanauts dive center in Grenada is back up and running, following damage from Hurricane Ivan. The Scuba center, based in True Blue Bay is once gain offering a full dive and snorkeling operation as well as boat
towing, salvage and small repairs.
Barcolana draws the crowds
Despite the post-Olympics debate about the difficulty of making yacht racing interesting for TV, some 10 million Italians reportedly tuned in to watch action from the 36th Barcolana Cup. The unique event, won this year by Neville Crichton’s supermaxi Alfa Romeo, packed some 1,960 yachts into the waters around Trieste. Alfa Romeo completed the race in 1 hr 19 minutes, winning the event for a second successive time and furthering its claim to be the world’s fastest yacht. She has now won line honours in 71 races, among them the Rolex trio of Sydney-Hobart, Fastnet and Middle Sea.
Yachting World to sponsor Antigua Sailing Week
UK sailing magazine Yachting World is to be a platinum sponsor for Antigua Sailing Week. According to Editor Andrew Bray, “the regatta fits well with the magazine’s global profile and we hope that we can help it to retain its status and grow into an even better world class event.” The YW contingent also hopes to have a crew battling it out on the water. Antigua Sailing Week runs April 24-30, 2005. Latest entries can be seen on www.sailingweek.com
Marina Fort Louis to expand
An invitation for tender has been issued by the Marina Fort Louis for the construction of an extra dock. The plans for the 100-meter extension have been drawn up for some time now, and the SEMSAMAR-financed project will extend the existing promontory to reduce the surge into Marigot.
On terra firma, the Marina has also announced that a fuel station is now in place. The 12-meter container has a capacity of 40,000 liters and is served by two pumps.
Bermuda’s King Edward VII Gold Cup
America’s Cup legend Russell Coutts bagged Bermuda’s King Edward VII Gold Cup for the seventh time in 14 years, beating 25-year-old Australian James Spithall 2-1. The Cup is part of the Swedish Match Tour circuit, and saw American Ed Baird take third, while reigning champ Peter Gilmour was knocked out in the quarter final rounds.
The Cup format sees seeded greats race against unseeded skippers in Bermudan one design sloops. Coutts was one of the latter when he first won the trophy in 1990.
Ellen MacArthur honored
An October special issue of Time magazine has chosen British yachtswoman Ellen MacArthur as one of “29 dazzling people who shine their light on the world”. Twenty-eight year old MacArthur began her sailing career living in a portable shed in a boatyard from which she sent out 2,500 letters asking for sponsorship, receiving just two replies. Although Ellen since placed second in the Vendee Globe and the Route du Rhum, she was nominated for her Setting Sail for Greatness programme that takes children suffering from cancer sailing.