SAP 505 Worlds – Day 1 highlights by Thomas Funke

The 60th SAP 5O5 World Championship got under way on Saturday with two races being sailed back to back. The breeze came out of an easterly direction and conditions for sailing were great. Race 1 was started in 7 knots of breeze but this was always going to build and by mid-afternoon, was forecast to strengthen to 16 knots. Race 1 was led by a number of different sailors but in the end was won by the defending World Champion, ... Read More »


Head-torches on, Howie Hamlin and Jeff Nelson were working another late night in the boat park, on the eve of the SAP 505 World Championships in Port Elizabeth, South Africa. Forced to fit out a brand new boat in record time, the former 505 World Champions are in a race against time to be ready for the first heat at midday on Algoa Bay. Hamlin wasn’t even aware of who had won the two-day Pre-Worlds which concluded yesterday, as he ... Read More »

SAP 505 Pre-Worlds – day 2 report, pics & results

by Thomas Funke Race 2 of the pre-worlds got under way in strong westerly conditions – a good indication of what PE can offer the sailors. After an abandoned start, the fleet got clean away in the conditions and raced towards the lighthouse at Cape Recife. After an eventful beat, the front runners, hoisted spinnakers and gybed away for the mark. Teams that gybed and set spinnakers immediately caught up slightly. On the second beat the wind changed slightly and ... Read More »

Vasco da Gama Ocean Race – 16th entry received

Nigel Milln, a previous multiple winner of this tough ocean race, has entered his trusty steed Skitzo – a Fast 42. Milln is no stranger to racing along the East Coast, although it is believed that this will be his first foray southwards on a Vasco da Gama Race. Sailing 8-up, he always manages to cobbled together a really good crew who drive his boat hard and usually end up on the winners podium. He’s a wiley old salt is ... Read More »

SAP 505 Pre-Worlds off Port Elizabeth – race 1

Sparkling Water and Light Shifty Conditions for first pre-worlds race in Port Elizabeth The first race of the 5O5 pre-worlds and South African Championships in Port Elizabeth, was sailed in very light shifty conditions. The first race had to be abandoned halfway through after a 180 degree wind shift. Back at the starting area Race Officer Di Hutton-Squire attended to the resetting of the course and started the race once again. Only one race was sailed in the South West ... Read More »

VOR – Chinese Gybe on Chinese Boat

“Chinese crash gybe” on Dongfeng read the headline! Crew ok, nothing broken, but paid the price in energy and time! “Quite a few of us had never done one before, and we had to wait until we were on a Chinese boat to do it…” Yann Riou exclaimed. It had been on the cards – Yann tweeted direct from the boat a few hours before, at the start of a very dark night – “30 knots of wind, very dark, ... Read More »

505 World Championships – Interview with Thomas Funke

by Sophie Thompson Watching the sailing brothers Thomas and Peter Funke carve through the water offshore of Durban on their 505 is pure sporting artistry. The young duo are about to tackle top international sailors at the 505 World Championships in Port Elizabeth at the end of this month. This will be their sixth outing at a 505 World Championship. “Our Dad started us off young on his keelboat, when we were only a few months old at Hartbeespoort Dam. ... Read More »

Barcelona World Race – Heading: Home!

The Azores high pressure system has proven to be a road block for Bernard Stamm and Jean Le Cam. Their passage northwards at the head of the Barcelona World Race fleet, saw them running out of breeze and so their tack eastwards, towards the Straits of Gibraltar, was made early this morning. And as the Swiss-French duo progress east towards the Moroccan coast, passing south of Madeira, they will reconnect with the better NE’ly trade winds. Cheminées Poujoulat has 1100 ... Read More »

VOR – Leg 5, the race’s toughest leg is underway

After a few days delay due to a strong cyclone presence the race is underway again as the race’s six-strong fleet finally headed out of Auckland this morning (Wednesday) after the Leg 5 departure was delayed 67 hours to avoid the worst of Cyclone Pam. However, the crews, led out of the ‘City of Sails’ by Dongfeng Race Team (Charles Caudrelier/FRA), knew they may have avoided the deadly weather system, but still face the toughest of all nine legs as ... Read More »

The 60th SAP 5O5 World Championships

World Class sailors from Denmark, Great Britain, South Africa, United States, Australia and Germany will be in Port Elizabeth from 23 March to 3 April to sail in the 60th SAP 5O5 World Championships being hosted by the Algoa Bay Yacht Club (ABYC). The regatta is in two parts – a South African Championships incorporating a pre-worlds and the World Championships. The International 505 is a one-design high-performance two-person monohull planing centreboard dinghy, with spinnaker, using a trapeze for the ... Read More »

Volvo Ocean Race: Report released into Team Vestas Wind grounding

An independent report into the grounding of Team Vestas Wind on Leg 2 of the Volvo Ocean Race was released today. It included a set of recommendations aimed at improving safety at sea for the entire offshore racing community. In particular, it has suggested improving navigational charts and other on board software to avoid similar incidents in the future. The Danish boat, Vestas Wind (Chris Nicholson/AUS), was stranded on a reef at Cargados Carajos Shoals in the middle of the ... Read More »

Volvo Ocean Race: Image gallery – Tour of the Boatyard

Yesterday Volvo Ocean Race threw open the barriers and let the media have an inside view of the Boatyard at the Viaduct Events Centre The area is open to the public (stay behind the safety barriers) where you can see the boats on the hard, and look inside the Events Centre which has been converted into a massive sail and rigging loft. All gear used during the race is service by the Volvo Ocean Race team to reduce team support ... Read More »

BAR Develop Virtual Flying Machine

Ben Ainslie Racing Without cutting edge design and engineering, no one wins the America’s Cup. In pursuit of their goal, the British team has developed their own sophisticated 3D sailing simulator, modelled on those used by the world of motorsport. The virtual flying machine will support the vital link between sailors and designers, creating an important feedback mechanism between the two core parts of the performance team. It also provides an equally important feedback loop within the design team’s optimisation ... Read More »

Marine Industry Experts Convene at Volvo Ocean Village

Marine industry experts from around the world will convene next week in the Volvo Ocean Race Village at Auckland’s Viaduct Basin for the 5th High Performance Yacht Design conference. This three-day technical conference, 9th to 11th March, is the latest for those who make it their business to push the performance boundaries of yachts both power and sail.  It is organized by the Royal Institute of Naval Architects (RINA) NZ and the University of Auckland The inaugural conference in December ... Read More »

Dongfeng – a TEAM in Every Respect Overcoming the Odds

A report from the Donfeng Team There have been close finishes in previous races, but this was an extraordinary one with four boats fighting in sight of each other on the final day, after 20 days of hard fought battles all the way from China. Dongfeng crossed the finish line in 3rd place behind MAPFRE in first and Abu Dhabi Ocean Racing in 2nd, just 8 minutes separating these three boats which also means there have been four different leg ... Read More »