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France. Course Au Large magazine launches the Ocean Records World Championship








GDO Report

The epic pursuit of major records, which has now come of age, is taking on more and more importance on the international sailing scene.

Bringing together human and technological challenges, the endeavour to achieve maximum performance over the longest ocean routes is something that appeals to yachtsmen and has led to new programmes being established with a few more still in the planning stage. Such potential deserved its own specific framework…

In order to unite these efforts and to give birth to a genuine ocean record circuit, the magazine Course Au Large, in conjunction with the leading skippers and G-class (maxi-multihulls) owners, has drawn up a precise framework in which the various record attempts can be included from now on.

Both to make results clear and to establish a legitimate hierarchy throughout the year that will make it easier for the general public to understand, the Ocean Records World Championship aims at rewarding sporting performance, encouraging innovation, technological research and entrepreneurship in the area of ocean racing.

An annual league table, based on a selection of twenty routes, which are all certified by the WSSRC, will award points, calculated using a precise coefficient (from 1 to 10 according to the difficulty of the course).

These 20 routes, including of course the major historic records, have been carefully chosen and were scrutinised by the major participants in the racing circuit (Ellen MacArthur, Bruno Peyron, Franck Cammas, Francis Joyon, Thomas Coville,…) during an informal meeting held during the most recent edition of the Paris Boat Show last December. This meeting approved the principles of the championship and confirmed the interest of the skippers and G-class owners in this idea of bringing everything together, and rewarding records set by single-handed yachtsmen and those with a crew.

An annual competition and an ongoing league table

Designed to reward the crew and single-handed sailor, who have achieved the highest number of points from the major records during the year, various trophies will be presented at the end of each season to reward skippers, crewmen, designers and sponsors.

Completing this annual arrangement, the ongoing table will take into account the top ten performances achieved on each route, without consideration of the time frame. The immediate interest of these arrangements is to give value to each attempt, to the extent that each time will be considered and will determine the number of points awarded, whether the record is smashed or not. 10 points will be awarded for each new record set, 9 points for the second best time, 8 for the third and so on.

Ellen MacArthur and Bruno Peyron 2005 champions follow in the footsteps of Francis Joyon and Steve Fossett, the 2004 virtual champions!

The ocean records world championship will begin on the first of January 2006, but thanks to the simplicity of its principles, we can already establish a picture of what the past two years would have produced in terms of the annual trophies.

For 2004, Francis Joyon (Idec) would have been on to the top step of the podium in the single-handed category, thanks to his 72-day round the world voyage, whilst Steve Fossett (Cheyenne) would of course have been rewarded in the crew records category, thanks especially to his 58-day circumnavigation.

For 2005 : The year that has just finished would have then crowned Ellen MacArthur (Castorama) for her single-handed record around the world in 71 days and Bruno Peyron (Orange II) for his record over the same route, but with a crew in 50 days. Both records were indeed improvements on the single-handed and crew performances achieved by the 2004 champions!

Bringing together twelve major exclusive brands!

The main goal of the Ocean Records World Championship is to encourage team spirit, innovation and entrepreneurship. It also aims to make record achievements clearer to the general public and to reward sporting performance by awarding prize money to the skippers and winning crews.

A special marketing plan is being drawn up. It will fund this prize, and pay for the organisation and communications around the Championship. It aims to involve 12 major French or international brands in the framework of a publicity campaign to promote the event.

Media communications and publicising the event

This communications plan (press, radio, TV, billboards, Internet) will ensure the promotion of the championship and of each individual attempt. The main features will be as follows:

Press: Promotion in daily papers and magazines, as each new record is set

Billboards: National poster campaign

Internet: Creation of an official site to allow people to follow each of the attempts live

Production and distribution to TV stations: Production of footage during the various attempts and distribution to TV stations

Publication: Publication of an “Ocean Records Book”, which will be updated and published at the end of each year

Official film: Production of a DVD film, an annual look back at the records set during the season

Special event: Organisation of an official awards ceremony sometime in January

Public relations: Organisation of a PR operation at the start and finish of the records

12 business sectors under scrutiny

The search for the twelve exclusive partners by sector will be based around the following twelve business sectors : automobile, bank and insurance, retail, hotel, clocks and watches, computing, property, leather goods, health, transport, wines and spirits, telecommunications.

Comments made by some top skippers

Ellen MacArthur (Castorama): “Our single-handed round the world record set last winter was certainly one of the toughest challenges I have ever undertaken, but the general public finds it difficult to appreciate amongst all the other events. Any plan aimed at clarifying the situation and making the results clearer is something, which is excellent for our sport.”

Frank Cammas (Groupama) : “It’s an interesting idea to organise a championship based on the existing ocean records. It allows us to regularly update the situation concerning the records and those taking part and thus to bring some excitement to the G.Class and record attempts. It may even lead to organising a direct confrontation (races...) between these boats!”.

Bruno Peyron (Orange) : “This idea follows on logically from the discussions we had with all the G.Class skippers, when we were setting up The Race in 2004. This championship will be the occasion to put up for grabs the trophy from The Race, won by Grant Dalton and Franck Proffit, which has been lying around in the headquarters of Club Méditerranée ever since.”

Francis Joyon (Idec) : “2004 was a very important year for me, and I believe it’s a really great idea to set up an overall circuit for the major records. It will allow us to reward the achievements made on the various routes around the world’s oceans.”

Steve Fossett (Cheyenne) : “ The Round the World Record was my highest ambition in sailing. It is very gratifying to receive this recognition."

Thomas Coville (Sodebo) : "This new point of reference is part of the way sailing will be evolving in the future. Rewarding the various records around the planet and bringing them all together in an ocean records world championship will allow us to share even more our passion for ocean racing."

Jean-Luc Van Den Heede (Adrien) : "Lots of different routes can be drawn up with the aim of setting new records, but the classic routes will always be there. The idea of choosing the twenty most famous crossings and establishing an annual championship will develop even more competition between yachtsmen, both in crewed events and in single-handed racing. I'm proud to be the latest monohull in the championship of single-handed sailors."

The twenty ocean routes to be considered and the current holders of the outright records
Routes – Coef - Best times – Holder
01 Round the world (WSSRC)- 10 - 50d, 16h, 20mn, 4s march 2005 - Bruno Peyron Orange II
01 Around the world backwards (WSSRC) – 10 - 122d, 14h, 3mn, 49s March 2004 - J.Luc Van Den Heede Adrien
03 North Atlantic (New York – The Lizard) – 6 - 04d, 17h, 28mn, 6s Oct 2001- Steve Fossett PlayStation
04 Gold route(New York – San Francisco) – 6 - 57d, 3h, 21mn, 45s 1998 - Yves Parlier Aquitaine Innovations
05 Clipper Route (Hong Kong – Londres) – 6 - 67d, 10h, 26mn 1990 - Philippe Monnet Elle & Vire
06 Discovery route (Cadix – San Salvador) – 5 - 09d, 13h, 30mn, 18s Feb 2003 - Steve Fossett PlayStation
07 North Pacific (Yokohama – San Francisco) – 5 - 14d, 17h, 22mn, 50s August 1998 - Bruno Peyron Explorer
08 Round Australia (Sydney – Sydney) – 5 17d, 12h, 57mn, 5s July 2005- Olivier de Kersauson Geronimo
09 24-hour record (parcours libre) – 4 - 706,2 milles 29,42 nds – 23 August 2004 - Bruno Peyron Orange II
10 Round the British Isles (GB and Ireland) – 4 - 04d, 16h, 8mn, 54s Oct 2002 - Steve Fossett PlayStation
11 Miami – New York – 3 - 02d, 5h, 54mn, 42s 2001 - Steve Fossett PlayStation
12 Mediterranean Record ( Marseilles – Carthage) – 2 - 17h, 56mn, 33s Sept 2004 - Bruno Peyron Orange II
13 Indian Ocean (Cape Agulhas – Tasmania) – 2 - 09d, 11h, 04mn Feb 2005 - Bruno Peyron Orange II
14 South Pacific (Tasmania – Cape Horn) – 2 - 08d, 18h, 6mn Feb 2005 - Bruno Peyron Orange II
15 Transpacific (Los Angeles – Honolulu) – 2 - 04d, 19h, 31mn Nov 2005 - Olivier de Kersauson Geronimo
16 Sydney – Hobart – 2 - 01d, 18h, 27mn, 10s Dec 1999 - Bob Miller Mari-Cha III
17 Round the island of Gotland (Sweden) – 2 - 01d, 50mn, 32s July 2000 - Stefan Myralf Nokia
18 Round the Isle of Wight – 1 - 03h, 10mn, 11s June 2001 - Francis Joyon Dexia Eure & Loir
19 Channel crossing record (Cowes – Dinard) – 1 - 05h, 23mn, 38s Sept 2002 - Brian Thompson Maiden II
20 Record SNSM (Saint-Nazaire-Saint-Malo) – 1 - 01d, 1h, 37mn, 17s April 2005 - Thomas Coville Sodebo

Single-handed Records
Routes – Coef - Best times – Holder
01 Single-handed round the world (WSSRC) – 10 - 71d, 14h, 18m, 33s Feb 2005 - Ellen MacArthur B&Q
02 Around the world backwards (WSSRC) – 10 - 122d, 14h, 3mn, 49s March 2004 - JL Van Den Heede Adrien
03 North Atlantic (New York – Cap Lizard) – 6 - 06d, 4h, 1mn, 37s July 2005 - Francis Joyon Idec
04 Gold route (New York – San Francisco) – 6 -
05 Clipper Route (Hong Kong – London) – 6 67d, 10h, 26mn 1990 - Philippe Monnet Elle & Vire
06 Discovery route (Cadix – San Salvador) – 5 - 10d, 11h, 5mn, 46s July 2005 - Thomas Coville Sodebo
07 North Pacific (Yokohama – San Francisco) – 5 - 20d, 9h, 52mn, 59s August 1996 - Steve Fossett Lakota
08 Round Australia (Sydney – Sydney) – 5 –
09 24-hour record (free choice of route) – 4 - 542,7 milles 22,6 nds – May 2005 - Francis Joyon Idec
10 Round the British Isles (GB and Ireland) – 4 - 07d, 8h, 47mn May 2005 - JL Van Den Heede Adrien
11 Miami – New York – 3 - 03d, 5h, 0mn, 12s July 2005 - Thomas Coville Sodebo
12 Mediterranean Record ( Marseilles – Carthage) – 2 –
13 Indian Ocean (Cape Agulhas – Tasmania) – 2 - 12d,18h, 57mn Dec 2004 - Ellen MacArthur B&Q
14 South Pacific (Tasmania – Cape Horn) – 2 - 12d,13h, 39mn Jan 2005 - Ellen MacArthur B&Q
15 Transpacific (Los Angeles – Honolulu) -2 - 07d, 22h, 38mn July 1998 - Steve Fossett Lakota
16 Sydney – Hobart (Australia – Tasmania) – 2 –
16 - 2 –
17 Round the island of Gotland (Sweden) – 2 –
18 Round the Isle of Wight – 1 –
19 Channel crossing record (Cowes – Dinard) – 1 - 12h, 01mn, 31s Nov 2004 - JL Van Den Heede Adrien
20 To be decided – 1

Internet : &


2003 - A Year in Review

Although it may seem a long time ago now, the achievements of a small landlocked country at the beginning of the year will remain very fresh in our minds for a while, and this achievement will also be credited for changing the future of the America’s Cup.

Issue 1: January–March 2003

2003 opened with the success of the Swiss America’s Cup challengers, Alinghi, who made history in many ways when they won the XX XIst America’s Cup Match and brought the oldest, and arguably most famous, trophy in sailing to Europe. This success marked the first time the America’s Cup had been won by a European country, the first time a challenging syndicate had won the America’s Cup on its first attempt, and Russell COUTTS made history as the most successful America’s Cup skipper ever.

That is what began a year in sailing full of records broken, phenomenal achievements, bitter disappointments, adrenalin fuelled racing, epic voyages, and groundbreaking developments in the sport.

As the year started, the finalists in the Louis Vuitton Cup challenger series had already been decided in Auckland, New Zealand. The Louis Vuitton Cup final was to be fought out by two America’s Cup veterans and countrymen, Chris DICKSON, and Russell COUTTS. Both from New Zealand, Dickson held the record for winning the most Louis Vuitton Cup races ever, and Coutts had already won the Cup twice, with Peter Blake and Team New Zealand in 1995 and 2000.

A close and hard fought Louis Vuitton final, which the 5-1 scoreline may not have reflected, saw the Swiss syndicate headed by business man Ernesto BERTARELLI, win the right to challenge Team New Zealand for the America’s Cup.

Team New Zealand were an unknown quantity in this year’s Cup. Young skipper Dean BARKER steered the final race in the last cup in 2000, and after the departure of Coutts, had taken the lead role permanently. Their training and design process had been
shrouded in secrecy, whereas Alinghi had been out in the open throughout the whole Louis Vuitton challenger series.

Whilst many predicted that the old master, Coutts would once again triumph over his protégé Barker, no one could have predicted the disasters that were to befall Team New Zealand as they went down 5-0 to the rampant Alinghi Team in the XXXI America’s Cup Match. Taking on water, a broken boom and
catastrophic mast failure gifted the Challengers 2 races, in the remaining three. Alinghi won by the closest average delta, that of a mere 25 seconds, and on 2 March 2003, Coutts’ place in America’s Cup history was assured. Amazingly, the XXXI match almost made the record books for the longest ever. Its 16-day period is two days shy of the 1899 endurance contest between Lipton's first Shamrock and the American Columbia, co-owned by J. Pierpont Morgan and with Barr at the wheel.

However, the America’s Cup was not the only thing happening in New Zealand at the beginning of the year, and using the fantastic facilities of the America’s Cup Viaduct Basin, and smaller, perhaps more manoeuvrable boats, the
2003 ISAF Team Racing World Championship title was being contested.

Held every other year, the ISAF Team Racing World Championship was hosted by the New Zealand Team Racing Association in Auckland and the 2001 World Champions, were back to defend their title on home waters. The New Zealand team were not to be successful in their defence, and after a total of 339 races in 8 days, a
victorious USA 2 team beat GBR 2 3-0 in the final.

Traditionally the early part of the year sees the annual round the world record attempts made, as crews seek to take advantage of the long southern ocean days, making it easier to see the icebergs. 2003 was no different and no fewer than three teams were set to attempt the record. Only two set off however, Ellen Macarthur’s re-branded G-class
Kingfisher 2 (formerly Orange), and Olivier de KERSAUSAON’S trimaran Geronimo, with Maiden remaining in dock.

Only one of these speed machines made it around the world, as a disastrous Southern Ocean
dismasting scuppered the Kingfisher 2 team’s chances 2000 miles east of Perth, western Australia, leaving the crew to sail under jury rig for 13 days before landfall in Fremantle, Australia.

Geronimo were looking good all the way though, that is until an uncharacteristic weather system on their return to the northern hemisphere placed a
windless wall across the Atlantic and between them and the record. As the record time to beat passed, Geronimo was 680 miles short of the Ushant startline, and eventually finished in 68 days, 1 hour, 58 minutes and 2 seconds at sea, 4 days short of the record. The current record of 64 days still rests with Bruno PEYRON (FRA) and Orange. But, it remains to be seen what attempts are made over the coming few weeks, but it seems likely that Geronimo, and a couple of others, including Steve FOSSETT’s Cheyenne (formerly Playstation 2) may set off this winter.

Aspiring to other records, on 24 February Playstation set a new world record from Cadiz (ESP) to San Salvador (BAH), known as the
Discovery Route, of 9 days, 13 hours, 30 minutes and 18 seconds, shaving a day off the previous record.

Another offshore event, the Volvo Ocean Race announced their own challenge 'To find the most consummate all-round ocean racing team the world has ever seen' as they presented a brand new, state of the art, 70’ monohull race-boat. The
new Volvo Ocean 70 is set to be an easier boat to sail, with fewer sails to handle and better living conditions for the crew. The race rules will favour imagination, creativity and sailing skills, and not an environment where the biggest purse necessarily gives a bigger edge.

ISAF began 2003 with
preparations for it's pinnacle event the ISAF World Championship well underway in Cadiz, Spain. For the sailing world this event was much anticipated as the first time all the Olympic classes would hold their World Championships together, and of course Olympic qualification for all the eleven Olympic events was up for grabs.

Sailing had been threatened with a reduction in events from 2008 onwards, with the Olympic Programme Commission targeting the keelboat event, but
successful lobbying from ISAF ensured that in February 2003 the IOC confirmed the status quo of eleven events and 400 athletes through until 2008, with a review by the IOC set for 2012.

Looking ahead to future Olympic Games, ISAF invited manufacturers to put forward new design concepts for boards to be used at the 2008 Olympic Regatta which would provide a new and exciting step forward in the evolution of Olympic Windsurfing.
A two stage approach was announced with a preliminary Presentation Event in September 2003, followed by an Evaluation Event in May 2004.

Once again, the Racing Rules of Sailing were high on everyone’s agenda and as a result, ISAF organised a Rule 42 and Judges seminar as part of the ongoing development of the racing rules at the ISAF Secretariat in Southampton, Great Britain. An important part of the sport, the seminar attended by 60 delegates from 43 countries highlighted and educated worldwide rules officials to a standard interpretation of Rule 42, as desired by sailors and officials alike. Each official returned to their own
Member National Authority (MNA)
to host a series of one-day seminars for all national umpires and judges, to ensure worldwide application of the interpretations.

The ISAF website in general began a facelift over the early part of the year and ISAF launched new microsites for the
Cruising and the Medical areas of the sport on, as well as a new and improved Race Officials section. The Race Officials area also included the availability of Race Management Clinic Packages in English, French, German, Greek, Hungarian, Spanish and Mandarin, with a promise of more to follow.

Hosted as part of the ISAF Sailor services, a
Women’s Forum was launched, with initial topics ranging from Ice Sailing, the participation of women within sport, and ways to increase participation at all levels - including, Olympic, offshore, match racing. Support continues to grow with many topics covered during the year. Meanwhile, in Brazil, Laser Supremo Robert SCHEIDT was adding to the increase in participation by women in the sport, passing on his knowledge in a series of coaching clinics for women.

Responding to demand, in January ISAF introduced 'Short Tacks' to complement the weekly ISAF newsletter, Making Waves, as a twice-weekly direct email news digest, bringing readers the round-up of the past few days news.

The road to Athens became shorter for some as it was announced that 40% of those athletes who applied for scholarship funding from
Olympic Solidarity had been approved. The Athens 2004 scholarship provides funding for athletes to put together a full time campaign with the objective being to be participate at the 2004 Olympic Games. Many are sailors who would be appearing at the top of their discipline over the following few months and a full list can be seen here.

Staying on funding, in February ISAF announced the continuation of its Athlete Participation Programme with funding to be provided for sailors from developing sailing nations to participate at the 2003 Volvo Youth Sailing ISAF World Championship, together with coaching support.

The opening
ISAF Graded event of 2003, Sail Melbourne, as well as including the Grade 1 Olympic classes events, International Class World Championships and National Championships, also included this year the first ever Commonwealth Sailing Championship. Held with the endorsement of the Commonwealth Games organisation, and with the objective that sailing will be on the sports programme at a future Commonwealth Games, the inaugural Sailing Championship was a great success, and will support ISAF’s lobby to include sailing on the sports programme at the 2010 Games.

No fewer than nine
World Champions were crowned in the first three months of the year. Chris CLAYTON and Craig MARTIN (IRL) were crowned Mirror World Champions, in the same year that the world said goodbye to the boat’s creator Barry BUCKNELL, who sadly died in February, whilst Jeremy Koo Wui KEN (MAS) took the title in the Byte. Karol JABLONSKI (POL), better known as the world’s number 1 ranked Match Race skipper, successfully recovered the Ice Sailing World Championship title from 2002 champion Ron SHERRY (USA).

Kenya hosted their first ever World Championship with the
Fireballsheading to Kilifi for an epic event. It was the dominant Chips HOWARTH and Vyv TOWNEND (GBR) who walked away from Africa with the title, but to use a cliché, the sport of sailing was the winner, with the organisers putting on a fantastic Championship in a fantastic setting.

The new
Hobie Tiger World Champions were Cat supremos Mitch BOOTH & Taylor BOOTH, whilst the B14 World Championships, a biennial event and held as part of Sail Melbourne, saw the trophy retained by a British pair, this time Tim FELLS and Dave CUNNINGHAM. Dragon sailors were treated to a spectacle in January with Dieter SCHOEN, Vincent HOESCH & Andreas HUBER (GER) coming out on top at the Dragon World Championship in Tasmania, Australia.

The Olympic classes had a busy start to this pre-Olympic year that would see the fleet not only compete in the second test event for sailing at the Agios Kosmas sailing Centre in Athens, otherwise known as the Athens Regatta 2003, but also in Cadiz in September for the ISAF World Championship, where all Olympic Class World Champions would be decided over a two-week period.

The year started with two
ISAF Grade 1 events, opening with Sail Melbourne before moving onto Rolex Miami OCR. A number of other graded events made up the first ranking release of the year, and on 6 February, following Rolex Miami OCR, sailors could once again see how they sat on the World Stage at the start of 2003. Full rankings are available here.

In Match Racing, the early part of the year was relatively quiet. Many skippers were involved with America’s Cup syndicates and thus had dropped in position in the ISAF World Match Racing Rankings. This takes nothing away from the dominance of Polish sailor Karol JABLONSKI, who started as he meant to go on at the first Match Race Rankings release of 2003 on 20 February, with continued domination at the top. ISAF addressed the situation faced by skippers who commit to a long-term campaign and subsequently drop down the world rankings, with the introduction of a 'ranking holiday'. This will effectively mean that when participating in another campaign, the skipper can take a ranking holiday and 'go on hold' on the ISAF World Match Race Rankings, for a minimum period of 6 and maximum period of 12 months

A busy and very interesting time for the sailing in the first three months of 2003.

To give you a little taster of what is to come, this is the first issue of ISAF’s Year in Review 2003. Subsequent issues will only be available to subscribers of Making Waves, the free and official newsletter of the International Sailing Federation.

Use of ISAF Information
You are welcome to reproduce ISAF’s publication, ISAF Year in Review 2003, or any part of it, with a mandatory credit to ISAF and hyperlink to the ISAF website as detailed below.

ISAF Year in Review 2003
Provided courtesy of the International Sailing Federation (ISAF)

Website Links
  ISAF Sailor
  Making Waves

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