The Prada Cup kicked off in New Zealand today with a sudden reversal of fortunes for teams after INEOS Team UK, which came out the losers in the 2020 America’s Cup World Series, suddenly turned things around by beating both New York Yacht Club’s American Magic and Luna Rossa Prada Pirelli Team, ending the first day of racing up 2-0.
After a rather dismal performance before Christmas, INEOS Team UK apparently dug deep to retune and upgrade their sailing configuration with success that has surprised avid Cup watchers.
In both races the starts were close to even, but INEOS Team UK was able to get out ahead and stay there. For the race against the US, the Brits managed to keep extending their lead around the course. They finished 1 minute, 20 seconds ahead. The race against the Italians was closer, though again the Brits led throughout the entire race. Prada closed the gap to 13 seconds at the final windward rounding, but ended up 28 seconds behind by the finish.
The next races will be held at 6 p.m. PST this evening, with the US taking on the Italians and a rematch for the US against the Brits. You can read the full story of yesterday’s racing here.
The Moore Sailboats shop in Watsonville, which we’ve enjoyed visiting on multiple occasions, is closing.
A press release that landed in our inbox this week states: “Moore sailboat production is moving. In wake of the property owners’ decision not to renew the lease, Moore Sailboats Inc. will move production of the all-new Alan Andrews-designed Moore 33 to Riverside County, east of Los Angeles, under the direction of Blaine Rorick.”
Moore 24 business will move to Richmond, and Ron’s day-to-day operations of Moore Sailboats will relocate locally. (Or, Ron’s wife Martha Lewis tells us, there’s a possibility of taking on partners to share the current shop space.)
Last September, Rorick, a competitive sailor and businessman, announced the formation of Moore Sailboats Inc. and plans to produce a high-quality, high-performance 33-ft trailerable racer. With Andrews’ record of designing record-setting and race-winning sailboats, it’s projected that the Moore 33 will be fast and good-looking. Even with the unanticipated changes, plans are moving forward for the new 33-footer.
Ron will remain on board to oversee the Moore 33 project while Javier Ruiz, his foreman of 20 years, will move to Southern California as production manager of the new mid-sized racer. “I’m too busy to retire,” said Ron. He’ll go down to SoCal to help set up the place and get them going. Delivery of the hull and deck molds are expected in February.
The trailerable Moore 24, launched 46 years ago, has an active class well known for its Roadmaster Series. Martha tells us that Richmond boatbuilder Rufus Sjoberg is taking the molds and building a carbon-fiber Moore 24. At the same time, “We are building our fourth Moore 24 deck that is being replaced on hull #24,” said Martha.
A year ago, Krista Swedberg was crewing aboard the 105-year-old, 125-ft Dutch gaff ketch Tecla from Alaska to Salinas, Ecuador, and later to the Galapagos. When we checked in for an update, we learned that Krista had spent the first half of 2020 sailing aboard the 131-ft bark Europa, which was scheduled to sail to Australia. However, COVID-19 forced Krista and the crew aboard Europa into a change of plans.
Ringing in 2020 was quite the celebration aboard Tecla. We had just hit 50° south in the Atlantic, completing our doubling of Cape Horn and leaving us about a day out of our destination of Stanley, Falkland Islands. Shortly after arrival in Stanley, we were greeted with 50 knots of wind and a dragging anchor, something all too common even in summertime.
I flew home to Santa Cruz after four months of sailing the full length of the Pacific and into the Atlantic, and Tecla began her first Antarctic trip.
After a month with full nights of sleep (what a luxury!) I rejoined the three-masted bark Europa in Ushuaia, Argentina, as bosun for the rest of their Antarctic season. Europa was scheduled to spend 2020 crossing the Pacific to Australia, but of course that all changed. We returned to Ushuaia from a three-week Antarctic excursion on March 15 to the first ripples of the COVID-19 pandemic.
The guests, or “voyage crew,” were luckily all able to fly home the day before Argentina closed its borders. We took the ship to anchor, where discussions began about what we would do. Maintenance in the absence of sailing continued as usual. Two weeks later, the decision was made to sail for our home port of Scheveningen, in the Netherlands. It would come to be known aboard as the Epic Corona Voyage.
On March 27, we set sail down the Beagle Channel and began the longest nonstop voyage that either Europa or I have made. With 19 crew of 12 nationalities, we sailed the ship 10,180 nm in 81 days, along the traditional S-shaped offshore route (with all ports being closed, there was nowhere to stop anyway) — and only had to resort to using the engine once, just west of the Azores.
As a rule, we use the engine as little as possible on Europa, and indeed during this long trip there wouldn’t be a lot of fuel for motoring after planning what the generator would use. The input from the home office was that it would be great PR to sail the whole way, but the ultimate decision was of course left with our fearless leader, Captain Eric.
Please continue reading about Krista’s Epic Corona Voyage at Latitude 38.
EYC Jack Frost
“We hope this message finds you well and safe under these trying conditions,” wrote Encinal Yacht Club’s rear commodore, Brent Draney, to Jack Frost Series fleet members. “Unfortunately the regional conditions and shelter-in-place requirement means that race committee boats and competitor boats must be from the same household. The Coast Guard is also requiring single households to be added to the NOR and SIs while the regional shelter-in-place order is in effect. This significantly affects both our ability to run races as well as your ability to compete in them. Therefore EYC is once again going to have to postpone the January 23 race. We will be sending out a poll to competitors through a Google form for interest in alternate dates.”
Forty-two boats are registered in Jack Frost. EYC runs the series on the waters north of Treasure Island and west of the Berkeley Pier. The January race day had been originally scheduled for January 2. Encinal moved it to January 23 because of the initial Regional Stay-at-Home Order. The next race day is scheduled for February 6. Each race day includes two races using temporary or fixed rounding marks. There are three PHRF divisions (including one non-spinnaker) and two one-design classes (for Santana 22s and Olson 25s), but no shorthanded divisions.
“EYC will use the January 23 date to practice running races with a singlehanded committee consistent with the Coast Guard requirements, weather permitting,” continued Brent. “If any boat crewed by a single household wishes to participate in a sailing rally, we intend to be on station and run through the starting sequence. This single-household rally would not be part of any race or scored in the series. We kindly ask boats that may be sailing on the 23rd that are not crewed by a single household to stay clear of the area to avoid the appearance of violating the shelter-in-place order.
“We are looking into amendments that will help us complete the 10 scheduled races in the series.”
OYC Sunday Brunch
Oakland Yacht Club canceled their January Sunday Brunch Series races. “After due consideration, it has been decided to cancel OYC’s Sunday Brunch races scheduled for January 17 and 31,” noted race chair Debby Ratto. “We will also change the January 3 race previously postponed to canceled. Toward the end of January we will reassess and hopefully be back racing with our full complement of fleets!”
The Sunday Brunch Series, with racing on the Estuary, normally starts in January. There has been no action in the series so far this season.
Three Bridge Fiasco Update
As noted previously, the Three Bridge Fiasco will be singlehanded only this year. The Singlehanded Sailing Society received the maximum number of entries, 125, within 24 hours. Yesterday, they opened a waiting list and will use a lottery system.
Send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org by the end of Monday, January 18. Put “request to be placed on the waitlist” in the subject line.
In the email body, include your:
- full name
- boat name
- sail number
- telephone contact number
The SSS will draw 25 names at random and list them in sequential order. (The first name drawn will get the first opening, second name drawn gets the second opening, etc.) This will be the Waitlist. All 25 boat names and initials will be listed on SSS Race Deck forum. As soon as they have a cancellation, the SSS will offer a spot to the person at the top of the list. They’ll notify that skipper by email and phone and hold the spot for 24 hours, then move on down the list.
We just heard from the Mercury Class that the Southern California Yachting Association has announced that they are postponing the midwinter regatta scheduled for February.
Last year, Long Beach YC canceled the Congressional Cup, set for April 29-May 3, 2020. The Congressional Cup has been hosted by Long Beach Yacht Club since 1965. It’s an official World Championship event of the World Match Racing Tour and a Grade One competition. In September 2020, LBYC announced that they would hold the 56th Congo Cup on May 11-16, 2021, with the Ficker Cup qualifier on May 6-8. (The Ficker Cup determines the final two entries in the Congo Cup.) Those new dates have been pushed back four months into September. The new Ficker Cup dates will be September 10-12, with the Congo Cup following on September 14-19, 2021.
After much discussion internally and after consultation with the Government of Antigua and Barbuda, the Royal Ocean Racing Club canceled the RORC Caribbean 600 due to take place in February. Concern about high numbers of infections in the UK and Europe and the need to keep the island populations safe led to the decision. The next Caribbean 600 is scheduled to start on February 21, 2022.
But here’s something to look forward to on the opposite side of North America: Entry is now open for the 2022 Vic-Maui International Yacht Race. The fleet is limited to 25 boats. The race will start from Victoria, BC, on July 2-8, 2022.
Royal Hong Kong Yacht Club has canceled the 2021 Rolex China Sea Race, which was due to start on March 31. “We felt that the situation would have improved sufficiently by March 2021, yet this is not to be and we feel that it is prudent to cancel,” explained RHKYC commodore, Denis Martinet.