Monday 9 March 2020 – This week we recap the first of the 2020 52 SUPER SERIES regattas which took place in Cape Town last week, the 2019 Rolex World Sailor of the Year has been announced and a route update is addressed by the Clipper Round the World Race; we also check in with the St. Maarten Heineken Regatta in their final days. The WSL has kicked off their Sydney Surf Pro Challenger event and GKA crowns the latest Kite-Surf Champions while the Cape Town Cycle Tour takes over the Cape.
Odzala Discovery Camps 52 SUPER SERIES V&A Waterfront – Cape Town, South Africa
With no racing possible on the final day of the Odzala Discovery Camps 52 SUPER SERIES V&A Waterfront Cape Town regatta, the 2019 circuit champions Azzurra lift the first series title of the 2020 season.
Racing in South Africa for the first time represented something of a voyage of discovery for the 52 SUPER SERIES owners and crews, but the 10 teams from eight nations were rewarded with good racing in a variety of wind conditions, including a visit from the strong Cape Doctor wind, all set against the spectacular backdrop of Table Mountain and Lion’s Head, whilst embracing the lively, colourful, friendly welcome at the City’s V&A Waterfront.
Victory for Azzurra was underpinned by a dream debut for new tactician Michele Paoletti, the Italian-Argentine team actually winning their first series regatta since September 2017. After finishing runners up at four of last year’s five regattas, the Azzurra team were delighted to prove they can win regattas as well as secure the season long championship, which they have won four times.
“This is something we have talked about a lot. It is a relief to know we can still do it and be consistent over the last couple of events. To win the season without winning an event is great, but the feeling of winning here is really enjoyable. We dedicate it to one of our crew members Ale Colla who could not join us here. He has a health issue that he is dealing with and I am sure he will be back for the next event here in Cape Town, so the win is for him and also for Pedro Rossi who did a great job replacing him.”
And second overall was a dream result too, ahead of hopes and expectations for Hasso Plattner’s local Phoenix 11 crew, tied on points with Quantum Racing, also four-times circuit champions. Plattner’s team, which includes Peter Holmberg and Andy Horton in afterguard, which relied on local knowledge from Paul Willcox, Shane Elliot and Shaun Pammenter, lead until halfway through the second day before they were compromised by a series of small technical breakdowns.
Hasso Plattner, top owner driver for the event smiled broadly, “It was a great regatta. I especially enjoyed yesterday, which was good for Cape Town and for the fleet. We had fun. We made it a little bit tight when we lost our spinnaker in the fifth race. Second is great. We did pretty well. We like to sail short tacking along the waterfront. We are up to that. It has been a great week, a great regatta and things played out very well.”
Horton added,“It was a great week for us when everything really came together. It all clicked. We had no major breakdowns and did not make any big mistakes. We did a bit of two-boat testing and training down here, which helped us; it helped me learn the race course because I had not been here and did not even know what it looked like, and so that gave me ten days. And Hasso, top owner driver tying with a team like Quantum Racing is great.”
Quantum Racing’s navigator Michele Ivaldi concluded, “It was an eventful event with a lot going on with the newcomers on the boat – me – having brought some different points of view. We have to improve on our communication and some systems, we had a couple of hiccups in a couple of races but we finished on a high note, we had some good racing. There are some regrets about points left on the table but that is also indicative of the level of the fleet.”
Round the World Clipper Race – Route Update
The Clipper Round the World Yacht Race was scheduled to return to Qingdao for an eighth consecutive stopover, during Leg 6 of the 2019-20 edition.
Since the outbreak of coronavirus (COVID-19), the Clipper Race and Qingdao Organising Committee have been working together to monitor the situation as it has developed. With the outbreak continuing to develop across the globe, the situation remains complex. For the safety of the Clipper Race crew, supporters, staff and all related parties, after extensive discussion and careful evaluation, the Clipper Race and Qingdao Organising Committee today jointly confirmed that the upcoming Qingdao stopover has been cancelled and the race will not stop in Qingdao this edition.
The Clipper 2019-20 Race route has been amended to take into account this decision with further details to be announced shortly.
Heineken Regatta – St. Maarten, Caribbean
On a picture-perfect day for yacht racing, with bright sunshine and 14 to 20-knot easterly Tradewinds coursing over the turquoise waters of the Caribbean, the 40th Anniversary edition of the St. Maarten Heineken Regatta commenced on March 5th with a pair of races for all competitors in the racing, bareboat and multihull classes.
On day two of the event, local knowledge lead the way on the classic round the island race. The point-to-point round-St. Maarten race has something for everyone: challenging currents and geographical features; wildly varying wind speeds and wind directions; a mix of inshore and offshore seaways. And fleet of 148 competing yachts, all of which at times seemed to be rounding the same mark at the same instant.
The regatta came to a spectacular close yesterday (8th March). The final results are still to be announced.
For the full details visit the Regatta Website
2019 Rolex World Sailor of the Year – Sarah Douglas
Sarah Douglas from Ashbridges Bay Yacht Club (Toronto, ON) was honoured with the most prestigious Canadian sailing award, the 2019 Rolex Sailor of the Year, in Toronto, Ontario.
Over the last year, Sarah has pushed milestones, with a 7th place finish at the Ready Steady Tokyo Olympic Test event, winning a Gold Medal for Canada at the 2019 Pan Am Games, and qualifying the country for a spot in the Radial class at Tokyo 2020. There is nothing that will stop this sailor from achieving her goals.
Her hard work both on the water shows as she consistently finds herself ranked amongst the best Radial sailors in the world. She continues to push herself to be the best athlete she can be all while paving a path for women in sailing.
“I’m shocked! I’m not sure how to feel but I am very grateful to receive this award tonight. It definitely motivates me to continue the work that I’ve done and to push even harder to improve Canadian sailing all around.”
Sarah was presented with an exquisite watch courtesy of Rolex Canada.
Other finalists included Alex Heinzemann, Justin Barnes, and Luke Ramsay. For details on additional winners, click here.
Sydney Surf Pro Challenger Series – Sydney Australia
MANLY BEACH, SYD/AUS (Monday, March 9, 2020) – The very first World Surf League (WSL) Challenger Series event, the Sydney Surf Pro, has kicked off at Manly Beach on International Women’s Day with the world’s best women surfers battling it out for valuable rankings points and prize money.
The iconic Manly Beach turned on pristine three-to-four foot waves for the second day of competition at the 2020 Sydney Surf Pro WSL Challenger Series event. Some of the world’s best surfers hit the lineup for Men’s Round 1 and half of Men’s Round 2 at the opening event of this year’s Challenger Series.
GKA Kite-Surf World Cup – Cape Verde
Last year we had barrelling waves in Cape Verde, but this year it seems that the wind, and wave gods wanted to test our rider’s and team’s nerves, sending some challenging conditions our way. Lighter wind and a lack of swell, saw the crew pack up the event site not once, but twice, and move to a new location. Proof that we go to great lengths to bring you the best possible action here on the GKA Kite World Tour!
The women’s division ran first with Ines Correia and Peri Roberts, two event favourites facing each other in the final. Peri has a strong Aussie surf style, she has no fear, rides hard and with power. Ines is comfortable riding her home spot, and with the support of the home crowd. Ines rode intelligently, linked smooth turns and some powered hacks. These women were well matched, and the scoring was tight, but Ines edged forward, took and then held onto the lead, with an impressive 7.00 wave, and with a complete score of 12.74 she won the heat and the event! Peri took a very respectable 10.50 and a well deserved second place. Huge congratulations to Ines Correia for taking the title in such difficult conditions, what a start to 2020 for this talented woman!
The final between home crowd favourite Matchu Lopes SP and JJames Carew AU had all the excitement you’d expect at a World Tour event. Matchu took an early high scoring wave and seemed to be comfortable sitting out back waiting to select his next. In the meantime James was racking up his scores with a nice vertical board, and those powerhouse hacks. The waves seemed to disappear and scores came through, the young Assie was in the lead. Matchu needed another high scoring wave to get back in top position, but this time his patience waiting outback was not rewarded. James won his first ever GKA Kite-Surf World Cup event. He has been pushing hard and has been hunting for this win for a long time. James grew up around the ocean, and is an all round waterman, just like his father Sean, who will no doubt be celebrating this win with as much enthusiasm back home in Australia. Congratulations James Carew we’re stoked to see you on the Kite-Surf World Cup podium!
in Other Sport:
Cape Town Cycle Tour – Cape Town, South Africa
Multiple South African champion Cherise Willeit (Customized Cycling Bioplus) won her fifth Cape Town Cycle Tour title in Cape Town on Sunday, while 20-year-old Travis Barrett (officeguru) took the men’s title on a perfect, near windless day.
Willeit, who admitted to not having had the ideal build-up and even suffering from a stomach issue earlier this week, survived early attacks from British triathlete Emma Palant to narrowly outsprint Frances Janse van Rensburg from a lead group of 12 riders that broke away up the infamous Suikerbossie climb. Willeit finished the 78km women’s elite route in 2 hours, 7 minutes, 48 seconds.
In the men’s race, in-form Barrett upset some of the big sprint favourites to nudge out former winner Clint Hendricks (Enza) by the width of a tyre to finish in 2:30.04 for the 109km. The two were part of a lead group of 15 that broke away up Chapman’s Peak and held their lead over the second bunch to the finish. Local Capetonian Jayde Julius (ProTouch) grabbed third. “It was a very long sprint and I could sense Clint coming up beside me. But I held on.” Barrett said. “I still can’t believe it. Winning the Cycle Tour is what every rider dreams of.”
Following on from last weeks sailing extravaganza some of the crew members and managment from the 52 SUPER SERIES teams joined in the Cape Town Cycle Tour – riding for 11th Hour Racing. Well done to everyone who took part in this incredible event.
[ The Weekend Wrap-up 9 March 2020]