28 October 2019 – This Weekend Wrap-Up covers the SB20 Worlds, the start of the Transat Jacques Vabre, Melges 32 Worlds, updates from the Clipper Round the World Race, the APB World Tour, as well as the Pontchartrain racing circuit.
SB20 World Championships – Hyères, France
Transat Jacques Vabre start – Le Havre, France
In what is the 14th edition of one of the toughest and longest-running offshore races, a record 29 yachts within the IMOCA class will compete in the Transat Jacques Vabre, each looking to finish on top.
Alex Thomson debuted the new HUGO BOSS racing yacht with the start, marking the first time that fans of Thomson and his team witnessed the boat in competitive action following its launch a month ago. Thomson and his co-skipper Neal McDonald remain the ‘ones to watch’ in this highly competitive IMOCA class, with Thomson having broken the British record in the solo, non-stop Vendee Globe in 2016, and McDonald being a seven-time Volvo Ocean Race competitor.
11th Hour Racing Team duo Charlie Enright and Pascal Bidégorry crossed the start line along with 58 other boats in the fleet under cloudy skies just off the coast of Le Havre, France to get the 2019 Transat Jacques Vabre underway at 1:15pm local-time Sunday.
Track the race here.
Melges 32 World Championship – Valencia, Spain
Over 120 sailors from 10 nations gathered in Valencia for the 2019 Melges 32 World Championship. German entry, La Pericolosa, lead the pack from day one and after a total of six races over the weekend kept up their lead to take home the win. Kilian Holzapfel’s Homanit won the Corinthian Division.
Clipper round the world race – Spinlock South Atlantic Showdown
The Clipper is coming to Cape Town! In the early stages of Race 3: The Spinlock South Atlantic Showdown have been dominated by the decision of which route to take to the Cape; the most direct, via the rhumb line with the risk of being affected by the St Helena High or the southerly route, which is a longer distance but potentially more consistent conditions.
It is no different on the fourth day of racing as two distinct packs formed. Closest to the rhumb line a group of seven teams, separated by less than 20 nautical miles (nm), is being led by Seattle, Unicef and Punta del Este. Further south WTC Logistics, Ha Long Bay, Viet Nam, Dare To Lead and Qingdao have all committed to the southerly routing with a mere 5nm between them.
APB World Tour | Fronton King Pro – Galdar, Canary Islands
Women’s World Title:
The women’s semi-finals saw two-time-APB-World-Champ Alexandra Rinder (AUSTRIA) and four-time-world-champ Isabella Sousa (BRAZIL) progress to the finals. The moment had arrived for these women to battle it out on the water for the Fronton Queen 2019 title.
In the early stages of the final, the riders split the peak at El Fronton, with Sousa going right and finding an okay tube ride, while Rinder went left and launched a huge ARS for an excellent score. The heat dealt with wind squalls and rain, but both riders waited patiently for more opportunities to perform in front of the swelling crowd. Sousa was able to launch a huge air on the left at El Fronton but unable to build on her scores, while Rinder waited patiently and eventually found another clean left to launch a large roll and secure the win.
Men’s World Title:
For the second year in a row, the APB Men’s World Title has been decided in dramatic circumstances. Neither wind squall nor the most crowned Fronton King of them all Amaury Lavernhe (FRANCE) could stop Tristan Roberts (SOUTH AFRICA) as he relentlessly pursued his first world title in challenging conditions.
The path to victory was simple for the local from Onrus near Hermanus, who cut his teeth on the heaving secret slabs in and around his home. He had to win.
Roberts becomes the 4th Saffa in five years to win a bodyboard world title, a remarkable record that shows how dominant South Africa is in men’s bodyboarding, partly because of the talent on offer, and helped by the quality of the heavy reefs in South Africa that are perfect for bodyboarding.
Pontchartrain racing circuit – New Orleans
This year’s edition of the Lake Pontchartrain Racing Circuit greeted sailors with a day 1 post-tropical cyclone cancellation, big breeze & waves to the north shore on Saturday and no real breeze to write home about on Sunday in Mandeville resulting in a one race weekend.
Privateer took the win with South African Mike Giles on board.
The Luderitz Speed Challenge – Luderitz, Namibia
Things are hotting up as challengers start testing their speed on the narrow, 500m race track. South African windsurfer Karo van Tonder was the 6th fastest rider in the test races averaging 40 knots of speed. Winds were ‘mild’ averaging between 26 to 30 knots. This is a great come – back for Karo who dislocated her shoulder in last year’s challenge, forcing her to retire from the competition. This was a huge disappointment as she was placed very well at the time. The real competition starts when the wind settles in, hopefully over the next few days. Follow the website and social media for updates.
In other sport:
Rugby World Cup Japan 2019 – A huge weekend of South Africa’s Springbok team as they beat Wales 19-16 in the Semi final seeing them through to the World Cup final against England this coming Saturday (2 November 2019). Kick off is at 11am (GMT+2). ‘I can’t believe I’m here. I watched our last final in a township tavern’ says Siya Kolisi, who will be a very proud man when he leads the Springboks onto the field in the Rugby World Cup final.
[The Weekend Warp-up 28 October 2019]