October 16, 2015

AC World Series Televised in US

The Auld Mug goes for a joy ride through through the colorful streets of Bermuda in advance of this weekend’s Louis Vuitton America’s Cup World Series competition.

© Ellen Hoke

It’s a huge disappointment to Bay Area sailors that no Louis Vuitton America’s Cup World Series event will take place here — despite the fact that the Golden Gate YC is the sponsoring club of AC defender Oracle Team USA. But thanks to recently announced TV viewing opportunities, there’s no reason that Bay sailors can’t enjoy the action this weekend during the World Series event in Bermuda. 

Sunday’s races will be broadcast on NBC Sports and NBC Sport Live Extra at noon on the West Coast (1-hour delay). All races can be viewed both Saturday and Sunday via the America’s Cup App, for a fee. See the website to download it.

Pictured here are just a few of the 550 students between 9 and 12 years old who turned out to celebrate Endeavour Day yesterday.

© Ellen Hoke

In case the ACWS has been off your radar, six teams will be fleet racing in AC45 wing sail catamarans, all built to the same design rule. After July’s event in Portsmouth, UK, and August’s series in Gothenburg, Sweden, Emirates Team New Zealand is leading with 72 points, followed by the British team Land Rover BAR (65), Oracle Team USA (64), SoftBank Team Japan (56), Sweden’s Artemis Racing (53), and Groupama Team France (50). 

The ACWS schedule for 2016 is still being fine-tuned, but a contest in Abu Dhabi or elsewhere in the Middle East is expected in February, followed by a Chicago event June10-12, a Portsmouth event July 21-24, a Gothenburg event in August, and a Tokyo event in October (tentative). 


The new America’s Cup boats that will be used in the Louis Vuitton AC Qualifiers (May 2017) are expected to be launched late next year or early in 2017. The actual America’s Cup Match will begin in Bermuda June 17, 2017. 

Going on Standby for Jules Verne

Dona Bertarelli will serve as helmswoman and trimmer on the round-the-world record attempt. She is an Italo-Swiss businesswoman and co-chair of the Bertarelli Foundation with her brother Ernesto, of Alinghi fame. She first took up offshore multihull sailing on Spindrift 2 in 2013.

© Yann Riou

Yann Guichard, Dona Bertarelli and their crew will go on standby in Brest, a port city in Brittany, starting on Monday, October 19, for an attempt at the Jules Verne around-the-world record. They must beat the existing record time of 45 days, 13 hours and 42 minutes.

Spindrift Racing will try to beat the record set by Loïck Peyron and his crew in 2012 on Banque Populaire V, which was renamed Spindrift 2 a year later. Yes, it’s the same 131-ft trimaran.

© 2015 Eloi Stichelbaut

Parisian skipper Yann Guichard has dedicated his career to elite multihull sailing and has made more than 15 transatlantic crossings. But this will be his first around-the-world sail. "I must concentrate hard to make the right choices at the right time," says Yann. He and Dona set up Spindrift Racing together, and the couple are jointly responsible for the team’s day-to-day development and management.

Introducing the Spindrift 2 Jules Verne crew. Top row, left to right: Thierry Duprey du Vorsent, Thomas Rouxel, Sébastien Audigane, Antoine Carraz, Sébastien Marsset, Xavier Revil, François Morvan; bottom row: Yann Riou, Dona Bertarelli, Yann Guichard, Jacques Guichard, Christophe Espagnon, Erwan Israël; not pictured: Loïc Le Mignon.

© Eloi Stichelbaut

"Apart from the competition itself, for Dona and me it is as much about the human adventure," says Guichard. "The record attempt brings together sailors who competed in Olympic series before turning to offshore competition and sailors with previous experience of oceanic record attempts and the Southern Ocean."

"The Jules Verne Trophy is the highlight of a program we drew up as soon as we bought the trimaran Spindrift 2," explains Bertarelli. "The tour around the world will require total physical, mental, professional and especially personal dedication. Yann and I are hugely motivated by this immense challenge. We’re also driven by a desire to share our passion for sailing with the public, especially youngsters, and to show them the hard work put in by our team."

If all goes as planned, Frenchman Francis Joyon’s 103-ft trimaran Idec Sport, recently rebranded from her Lending Club 2 colors, will be hot on Spindrift’s wake in an attempt to capture the same record. Joyon expects to go on standby in late October.

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Ha-Ha’ers to Join Downwind Celebration

As in years past, San Diego is ‘cruiser central’ this month, as new boats trickle into the bay every day in advance of the October 26 start of the 22nd Baja Ha-Ha rally.

Tomorrow, founding sponsor Downwind Marine will throw its annual BHH Welcome Party at its Shelter Island location (2804 Canon St.) from noon to 4 p.m. In addition to Chris Frost’s famous chicken chili and hot dogs, the long-established marine supplier will provide beverages, plates and utensils, but attending cruisers are encouraged to bring a potluck side dish to share.

There will also be a mini Vendor Fair on site, featuring some the company’s favorite suppliers and authors. And Downwind will offer "deep discounts" on purchases throughout the day. (Store hours are 8:30 a.m. to 5 p.m.)

So if you’re gearing up to head south this season — with the Ha-Ha or on your own — be sure to drop by and join the fun. 

Also, be sure to check out this month’s seminar schedule here. There’ll be lots of great info to be gleaned from these free events. 

Hostages Robert Hall, John Ridsdel and Kjartan Sekkingstad, who were kidnapped from Ocean View Marina in the Philippines on September 21, are seen in a video just released by an unknown terrorist group.
The following is as funny as it is pathetic. Confirming that they are in need of an education, last month members of the Claremont, California, Pitzer College Student Senate voted to deny instating a yacht club at the school.