sailing
/say"ling/, n.
1. the activity of a person or thing that sails.
2. the departure of a ship from port: The cruise line offers sailings every other day.
3. Navig. any of various methods for determining courses and distances by means of charts or with reference to longitudes and latitudes, rhumb lines, great circles, etc.
[bef. 900; ME seiling, OE seglung. See SAIL, -ING1]

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Sport or pastime of racing or cruising a sailboat or yacht.

A modern yacht (from a Dutch word meaning "ship for chasing") is a sailboat used for racing. In the 17th century Dutch royalty sailed early yachts for pleasure; Charles II brought the sport to England. Organized yacht racing on the Thames began in the mid-18th century. In North America yachting began with the Dutch in New York in the 17th century. The first U.S. yacht clubs were founded in the mid-19th century. Sailboat races are held over two kinds of courses, point-to-point and closed. Yacht racing has been part of the Olympic Games since 1900. The America's Cup is the preeminent prize in yachting.

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▪ 2007
 Sailing was intense in 2006. The America's Cup finished Act 12 of the greatly extended Louis Vuitton competition series. Four teams had emerged as the most likely challengers for the cup in 2007, but they were still off the pace set in most races by the defender, Alinghi. All competitors were allowed to introduce new boats and equipment before the final round, so the cup remained a prize that could be claimed by anyone still in the game.

      The transatlantic record fell again. Frenchman Bruno Peyron and his 37-m (120-ft) catamaran Orange II got across in 4 days 8 hr 23 min 54 sec, in the process setting a new record for a day's run under sail: 766.8 nm (nautical miles; 1 nm = 1.85 km), averaging nearly 32 knots over the 24 hours.

      The Volvo around-the-world race featured purpose-built Canting Ballast Twin Foil (CBTF) 21-m (70-ft) boats, which were described by their crews as “brutal” and sometimes terrifying, particularly in the early going. One competitor reported that the boats “are a violent boat type that driven too hard will destroy itself even when overbuilt.” The eventual winner of the race was ABN AMRO ONE, and ABN AMRO TWO established a new monohull 24-hour speed record on the second leg, achieving 562.96 nm.

      In the centennial Newport–Bermuda Race, the boats had to sail through a strong ridge of high pressure extending from the west of Bermuda to the Azores, with winds of 5 knots or less. The first boat to finish, Hap Fauth's 20-m (66-ft) Bella Mente, averaged only 5.6 knots for the 635-nm race. The fleet was divided into four groups, according to crew and system of handicapping employed. The St. David's Lighthouse Trophy was offered for amateur-sailed boats in both IRC and ORR (IMS derivative) systems, and a new Gibb's Hill Lighthouse Trophy was introduced for boats with professional sailors in both systems. The amateur winners were both boats with 25 years of service, Lively Lady II (Carter 37) and Sinn Fein (Cal 40). In the open division, the winners were recent-production boats: Temptress (IMX-45) and Four Stars (Beneteau 44.7).

      In Cowes, Eng., the Rolex Commodore's Cup was won by the France Blue Team, competing against 12 other international three-boat teams scored under the Royal Ocean Racing Club's IRC system. Light air again complicated the situation, and boats had to struggle to finish the last race, which was double-weighted.

      The 3.4-m (11-ft) Moth class continued its move toward another breakthrough technology—flying on foils. In this “open” class, modern materials made possible the construction of a remarkable sailboat that could lift the hull completely out of the water in as little as 6 knots of breeze. Some of the hulls in use in 2006 weighed only 10 kg (22 lb). At the usual regatta windspeeds of 10–12 knots, the boats could remain foilborne throughout the race and run away from their waterborne competitors. To avoid the inevitable “crash” back into the water when the boats tacked through the wind, the sailors learned to make a quick jibe while foilborne, a maneuver they termed a “gack.” Only two conventionally rigged Moths showed up at the world championship, which was dominated by the “flyers.”

      In August sailing began in Qingdao, China, at the regatta site for the 2008 Olympic Games. The Good Luck Games provided both competition and an advance look at a location where strong currents and light air produced challenging conditions. The facilities were judged first-rate, however, and expectations were high for the Olympic competition.

John B. Bonds

▪ 2006

      In 2005 the International Sailing Federation's new president, Göran Petersson, a veteran sailor and competition judge, completed his first full year in office, but the big story was how technology dramatically influenced sailing during the year. Records fell quickly in offshore competition as boats using Canting Ballast Twin Foil (CBTF) designs joined the races. There were also failures in the evolving technology, however, and some boats had to be abandoned when they lost their keels. Hull and rig technology followed aircraft-manufacturing practice in the use of exotic composite structures. The challenge remained in finding the right balance between strength and weight and in marrying the canting keel to the yacht. More foil-borne dinghies were evident, and one captured a world championship against conventional boats (in the Moth class). In April a highly modified sailboard raised the bar for fastest sailboat in the world when Finian Maynard of Ireland clocked 48.7 knots.

      In round-the-world competition, several new records were set. In a fully crewed giant catamaran, Bruno Peyron of France circumnavigated in just over 50 days (slicing almost 8 days off the previous record) and in the process sailed 706.2 nm (nautical miles; 1 nm = 1.85 km) in 24 hours. Britain's Dame Ellen MacArthur (MacArthur, Ellen ) (see Biographies) established a new single-handed nonstop record of 71 days 14 hr 18 min 33 sec in a trimaran. Twenty entries in Open 60 monohulls started the Vendée Globe race in November 2004, and 13 finished the race in 2005 after numerous retirements along the way. Vincent Riou came first in 87 days 10 hr 47 min 55 sec. The last finisher, Karen Leibovici, arrived 39 days later.

      In late May, 19 large yachts and the tall ship Stad Amsterdam began the Rolex Transatlantic Challenge Race from New York to the Lizard in England, attempting to break the record set in 1905 by the schooner Atlantic. The boats had a challenging sail across, and six broke the record. Two canting-keel speedsters led the way and shared the honours; Mari-Cha IV crossed first in 10 days, but Maximus was declared the winner on corrected time. Seventeen of the starters eventually made it to Cowes, Isle of Wight, although the chartered tall ship had to use its engine in order to keep up and make its next charter window.

      The America's Cup spectacle, under way in Valencia, Spain, was attracting 12 teams from 10 countries, including newcomers South Africa and China. Although the official regatta against defending champion Switzerland was scheduled for 2007, activity among the potential challengers continued. The Admiral's Cup was canceled in 2005 by its organizer because of a lack of entries. This was largely due to the transition that was taking place in the choice of handicapping systems. With two systems (IMS and IRC) vying for acceptance, organizers were forced to choose one or the other and in so doing drove half the fleet away. IRC was employed in the U.S. at several major regattas in 2005 with mixed results, but it appeared to be gaining adherents all over the world and might become the system of choice in 2006.

      Although the 2004 Sydney–Hobart race was tough, with nearly half the fleet of 116 retired and one of the three big CBTF boats capsized and abandoned, the 2005 race went smoothly. On Dec. 28, 2005, Wild Oats XI completed the first “treble” since Rani won the inaugural race in 1945. Wild Oats, an Australian super maxi under the direction of skipper Mark Richards, claimed line honours (as the first boat to finish), set a race record, and was confirmed as the IRC handicap winner.

John B. Bonds

▪ 2005

      The Olympic Games in Athens dominated sailing in 2004, taking the regatta to Homer's “wine-dark sea” for the first time. The Olympic regatta reflected a high order of professionalism in the administrators and expertise in the sailors. Great Britain continued its world dominance, garnering five medals (two of them gold). Spain was next with three, while seven nations won two medals each. More significantly, the remaining medals were awarded to 11 different countries—an illustration of the success of the International Sailing Federation's (ISAF's) goal of spreading the sport throughout the world.

      Technology continued to have major effects in sailing. Dinghies with hydrofoils proliferated in the Moth and Australian 18 classes, producing spectacular speeds when the hulls lifted completely from the water in stronger winds. In offshore sailing a similar increase in speed was provided by the technology of Canting Ballast Twin Foil (CBTF) designs. These configurations figured prominently in several major races, involving particularly the biggest boats. In 2003 Mari-Cha IV had used this underwater design to set a transatlantic record, and in the Sydney–Hobart race off Australia, a traditional and a canting-keel super maxi had sailed neck and neck until the last leg to the finish well ahead of the rest. Another large boat, the 26.2-m (86-ft) Morning Glory, took five hours off the Newport–Bermuda race record in June 2004. The CBTF concept was not new—Nat Herreshoff designed an experimental boat before 1900—but the technology to manage the enormous stresses created within the hull when the ballast is canted to windward had not been available until recently. It seemed likely that this arrangement would revolutionize boat design, particularly for distance racing, as some of these boats produced speeds greater than the wind going to windward and routinely experienced destroyer-like speeds off the wind (more than 20 knots). In 2004 administrators of handicapping systems were scrambling to accommodate these new designs.

      One result of this accommodation was a growing dissatisfaction with the scientific prediction methods of the International Measurement System (IMS), which lacked an “arbitrary correction to hit” mechanism when practice proved the prediction inaccurate. The ISAF had appointed a committee to develop an entirely new system. The English members of the committee favoured IRC, their performance-based system, which was adjusted as necessary by the English administrators. The Americans were divided but seemed still to favour their scientific approach. Meanwhile, most sailors competed under whichever system was offered locally to them.

      The 2004 Newport–Bermuda race (handicapped under IMS), in which 157 boats started, featured some exciting reaching in big waves before light air filled in. The faster boats enjoyed a quick ride and won most of the silverware, and the top handicap awards went to two new designs, the cruiser-racer Swan 45 and a racing Transpac 52. The double-handed division, however, was won for the second time by a veteran Express 37.

      In Britain the Rolex Commodores' Cup, an event for three-boat national teams held at Cowes, Isle of Wight, saw the British Red team come first, with Jeronimo, Exabyte 2, and Bear of Britain. The event was handicapped under the British IRC system and drew no entries from the U.S. or the Mediterranean region, where IMS still held sway.

      A new single-handed-around-the-world record of 72 days 22 hr was set by Francis Joyon in a 27-m (90-ft) trimaran; a new westward record (122 days 14 hr) was set by Jean-Luc van den Heede in a monohull. The nonstop-around-the-world record fell to Steve Fossett's 38-m (125-ft) catamaran in 58 days 9 hr, cutting 5 days 23 hr off the record set by Bruno Peyron's 34-m (110-ft) catamaran Orange in 2004.

John B. Bonds

▪ 2004

      The major sailing drama of 2003 was played out in the Hauraki Gulf off Auckland, N.Z., early in the year. Alinghi of Switzerland completed its victory in a tightly contested challenger series in January and then went on to trounce the New Zealand defender of the America's Cup. The victory by the Swiss team, headed by Ernesto Bertarelli but with New Zealander Russell Coutts as skipper, took the cup to Europe for the first time. Because Switzerland is a landlocked country, another European venue would host the next competition; in November the new defenders announced that the next cup would be held off Valencia, Spain, in 2007.

      Offshore racing's premier event, the Admiral's Cup, took place in July in The Solent, off the Isle of Wight, and surrounding waters. The event was sailed for the first time under the Royal Ocean Racing Club's own handicap rule, the IRM. Australia's Royal Prince Alfred team (comprising Wild Oats and Aftershock) won, with the Spanish team second and Britain third. The other major international handicapping system, IMS, held its world championship in Italy's Gulf of Naples, where Italtel earned the IMS 600 title. Off Porto Cervo, Sardinia, Italy, Nerone won the world championship for the most competitive of the offshore one-design boats, the Farr 40.

      The Around Alone event finished off Newport, R.I., in the spring. Bernard Stamm in Bobst Group Armor Lux won Class 1 with 49 of 50 possible points, while Brad Van Liew in Tommy Hilfiger Spirit of America won Class 2 with a perfect score of 50. The Volvo Ocean Race for fully crewed monohulls, scheduled for 2005, announced parameters for a new class of high-tech 21.5-m (70.5-ft) boats for the race. On December 30 First National, skippered by Michael Spies and Peter Johnson, was named the overall winner in Australia's 59th Rolex Sydney–Hobart race, almost 90 minutes ahead of Thorry Gunnerson's wooden-hulled Tilting at Windmills.

      The International Sailing Federation (ISAF) reported the implementation of a Competitor Classification scheme, which would provide event organizers with the means of controlling competitors in terms of their employment in the sailing industry. The application of the scheme was voluntary. Some events might be completely amateur, while others would have limited professional involvement; if the scheme was not invoked, the event would be open to all competitors. US Sailing declared almost immediately that its similar scheme would be shelved in favour of the ISAF program. The ISAF match racing world championship was won by Ed Baird (U.S.); an American team also won the ISAF team racing world championship.

      Several new records were established in 2003. The British 42.7-m (140-ft) high-tech “super maxi” Mari Cha IV established a new speed record for monohulls in September, achieving 525 nm (nautical miles; 1 nm = 1.85 km) in 24 hours—an average speed of nearly 22 knots under sail. The boat went on to complete a transatlantic passage in 6 days 17 hr—another new record. Steve Fossett's giant catamaran Playstation established a new record for the “Discovery Route” from Cádiz, Spain, to San Salvador, El Salvador, in 9 days 13 hr, cutting a full day off the previous record for the trip that took Christopher Columbus 45 days. The trimaran Great American II eclipsed a record for Hong Kong–New York City set by the extreme clipper Sea Witch in 1849, by completing the voyage in just 74 days. Windward Passage's long-held record for the race from Ft. Lauderdale, Fla., to Montego Bay, Jamaica, fell to Bob McNeil's super-sled, Zephyrus V, which trimmed 41/2 hours off the record. The Route du Rhum, a single-handed race in 18.3-m (60-ft) trimarans from Saint-Malo, France, to Guadeloupe set another sort of record when 15 of the 18 entries failed to complete the race after an encounter with a fierce storm en route.

John B. Bonds

▪ 2003

      In 2002 the sailing world was still reeling from the loss of Sir Peter Blake—winner of the America's Cup for New Zealand in 1995—who was killed in December 2001 during a robbery aboard his research vessel on the Amazon River.

      Meanwhile, technology continued its expensive quest for speed under sail. New designs featured streamlined lead bulbs on long carbon-fibre struts suspended beneath space-age composite hulls that sported lofty rigs of similar light material. In some designs a larger righting moment at minimum weight was afforded by keel structures that pivoted at the hull to move the bulb outward toward the wind, while water ballast was pumped to tanks on the windward side of the boat to offset the heeling moment of the sails. The results were spectacular, producing large boats that planed off the wind like dinghies at speeds very nearly equal to the speed of the wind driving them. These monohulls and similarly constructed large catamarans were shattering long-held sailing speed records—and then breaking the new records again. One unfortunate side effect of this remarkable resistance to heeling was a decided reduction in what sailors called “sea kindliness.” These boats banged and lurched through the sea, responding immediately with a quick snap back to the vertical and demanding that those onboard hold on tight. This characteristic of power may have been responsible for an increasing number of crew overboard incidents that occurred in 2002. Sailing authorities were urging that safety gear be worn under heavy air conditions, when these very stiff boats might behave “unkindly” toward their crews.

      The Volvo Around the World Race between eight “Open 60” class monohulls was won by the superbly prepared German entry, Illbruck, which established a new monohull 24-hour distance record on the North Atlantic passage, achieving 484 nm (nautical miles; 1 nm = 1.85 km). The Cruising Club of America's Newport–Bermuda Race in June featured a long southerly meander of the Gulf Stream and a strong southwesterly airflow that produced fast but hard sailing. The big boats relished the conditions, slamming into the breaking seas and free-falling into the succeeding troughs. Corrected-time winners were Zaraffa (St. David's Lighthouse trophy) and Blue Yankee (Gibb's Hill Lighthouse trophy). Pyewacket trimmed nearly four hours off the previous course record set by Boomerang in 1996 and was then shipped to the Great Lakes, where it broke the course record for the Chicago–Mackinac Race, finishing the 333 nm in just under 24 hours.

      The 2001 Australian Sydney–Hobart Race began on Dec. 26, 2001, with the Volvo 60s racing along on a nonscoring leg to Hobart before continuing on to Auckland, N.Z. The racing fleet was punished by the weather, this time featuring waterspouts that damaged several of the racers. Bumblebee V was the corrected-time winner. Quiet conditions prevailed in 2002, however, and the 27.4-m (90-ft) Alfa Romeo recorded the second fastest time—2 days 4 hr 58 min 52 sec—for the race.

      The new 33.5-m (110-ft) catamaran Maiden II set a multihull 24-hour speed record, achieving 695 nm, with one burst to 44 knots, and surpassing Playstation's 2001 record of 687 nm.

      Nor were small boats immune from technology's appeal. An International 14 dinghy flew across the water on lifting foils added to its rudder and keel. A foil-equipped catamaran was aiming for 50 knots under sail at year's end. Several new planing dinghies appeared with obvious ancestry in the high-performance Australian 18s. Even the venerable Stars class voted to reduce the overall weight allowance of crews, which would improve the power-weight ratio of the boats. The Olympic catamaran Tornado class added an asymmetrical spinnaker for more downwind power, and the Laser class voted the first significant changes in its rigging in some 30 years.

      The 2002 International Sailing Federation Sailors of the Year were the team of Sofia Bekatorou and Emilia Tsoulfa of Greece and Britain's Ben Ainslie, who became the first person to win the award twice. At year's end the challengers were racing off Auckland for the right to challenge New Zealand for the America's Cup in February 2003. Oracle of San Francisco was preparing to take on the Swiss Alinghi in early January.

John B. Bonds

▪ 2002

      Technology was central to sailing in 2001, with dramatic effect on the sport. At the upper end a relative handful of professionals sailed boats built to aircraft specifications and using space-age materials, most of them financed by commercial sponsors that gained display platforms for their logos. In September the 2001–02 Volvo Ocean Race (formerly the Whitbread Round-the-World Race) started eight entries, all 18.3-m (60-ft) water-ballasted boats built for the event and financed by sponsorship. The Vendee Globe Race, for 18.3-m (60-ft) boats built to a different but similar rule, fielded 24 starters for a nonstop circumnavigation. Fifteen of the boats finished, and Michel Desjoyeaux established a new record, completing the voyage in 93 days 3 hr 57 min. An even faster time occurred in a new event, titled simply “the Race.” Six giant catamarans, limited in size only by the availability of sponsorship funds, started this nonstop “Around” race; five entries finished. The winning Club Med required only 62 days 6 hr 56 min for the circumnavigation. By year's end 10 challengers had registered to contest New Zealand's hold on the America's Cup in late 2002. The America's Cup had always been a technological contest, and professional teams were already on New Zealand's Hauraki Gulf testing boats and sails. A successful challenge was expected to cost at least $80 million.

      In August the British Royal Yacht Squadron hosted the New York Yacht Club at Cowes to commemorate 150 years of America's Cup competition. Some 200 yachts, including J-Class, 12-Metre, and classic and vintage yachts dating back to 1885, were joined by modern racing boats to provide a spectacular review of yachting history.

      The official report on the storm-ravaged 1998 Australian Sydney–Hobart race was issued in the spring and suggested that the race management team had “abdicated its responsibility at the time of crisis.” A long series of recommendations was included in the report, which was being studied worldwide for its legal implications. In the Sydney–Hobart race that ended at the beginning of January 2001, the racing fleet again met challenging conditions, and 24 of the 82 starters were forced to retire. Four crew were swept overboard in the race, but they were recovered successfully. Nicorette and SAP Ausmaid (both sponsored boats) won the line honours and the overall race, respectively.

      On the administrative front the International Sailing Federation (ISAF) took the Offshore Racing Council under its wing and began providing oversight for all sail racing in the world. The new edition of the ISAF racing rules was issued in January for the period 2001–04. A controversial decision dropped the men's three-man (spinnaker) keelboat from the Olympic program and added a women's keelboat fleet racing event. This left the men without a spinnaker keelboat—when even the Olympic catamaran employed these colorful and powerful sails—and denied women the match-racing venue many of them had sought. The French youth team won the ISAF world championship for the fourth consecutive year. The ISAF's World Sailors of the Year were Ellen MacArthur of Great Britain and Robert Scheidt of Brazil.

      Two notable speed records were established by Steve Fossett's giant catamaran, Playstation. Sailing ahead of a strong weather front, the boat logged 687 nautical miles in 24 hours and completed a transatlantic crossing in 4 days 17 hr 28 min at an average speed of 25.86 knots.

      The Admiral's Cup in Britain, generally considered to be the world series of offshore sailing, was canceled when only two national teams entered the contest. The Royal Ocean Racing Club had specified three one-design classes for the event, and there was insufficient interest among offshore sailors to support the decision.

John B. Bonds

▪ 2001

      The America's Cup, held off Auckland, N.Z., and the Olympic Regatta in Sydney, Australia, dominated sailing in 2000. The Louis Vuitton Challenger Series for the America's Cup, which had begun in late 1999, attracted 11 challengers, including five from the U.S. An initial round-robin series of match races (in which every competitor sails against every other competitor) was conducted, eliminating five of the teams. The remaining six then raced in another round-robin. The last two survivors, Italy's team Prada and the U.S.'s AmericaOne, sailed an exciting final round to determine which challenger would meet the defending Team New Zealand's Black Magic. In the best-of-nine race final Prada's Luna Rossa narrowly defeated AmericaOne 5–4, ensuring that for the first time in the event's 149-year history, there would be no American yacht in the America's Cup.

      After the close racing of the elimination series, the actual races for the America's Cup were somewhat anticlimactic. In the best-of-nine race series, which began on February 19, skipper Russell Coutts (see Biographies (Coutts, Russell )) and the sleek black New Zealand boat handily dispatched the Italian challenger in five straight races. New Zealand was never seriously challenged by the Luna Rossa under skipper Francesco de Angelis, showing perhaps superior design and indisputably superior skill and precision of evolution. In the months that followed, however, proud Kiwis were distressed to learn that some of their America's Cup heroes, including Coutts, were being drawn away to foreign syndicates, lured by unparalleled salary offerings.

      The Olympic Regatta was held in and just outside of Sydney Harbour during the Olympic Games in September, with 402 sailors, ranging in age from 18 to 58 years and hailing from 69 nations, participating in the 11 events. Dominating the national results, Great Britain's team earned three gold and two silver medals. Australia was just behind, with two golds, one silver, and one bronze.

      In offshore racing, New Zealand won the Kenwood Cup in Hawaii, and the Volvo 60 Nokia set a new record in the Sydney–Hobart race, completing the 630 nautical miles (1 nm=1.85 km) in 1 day 19 hr 48 min at an average speed of more than 14 knots, to take some 18 hours off the previous mark. Other new marks set in 2000 included a new 24-hr distance mark of 625 nm (average 26 knots) by Club Med, a mega-catamaran, and a new Victoria–Maui race record by Grand Illusion of 9 days 2 hr 8 min 27 sec, taking 17 hours off the previous record.

      At the other end of the speed spectrum, in the Cruising Club of America's Newport–Bermuda Race the highest-rated boat in the fleet (i.e., the boat predicted by the handicap to take the longest to sail the course) won the coveted Lighthouse Trophy awarded to the best corrected-time finisher in the cruiser-racer divisions. The faster boats got down the 635-nm course quickly but ran headlong into a high-pressure weather system that resulted in near-calm conditions. While the leaders struggled for every one of the last 100 nm, the smaller and slower boats continued the passage, catching up as the high began to move and light air finally filled in. The whole fleet finished within hours of the first boats, and the corrected-time results in each class were a nearly complete inversion of the handicap order, with the slowest (predicted) boats on top and the fastest (predicted) boats on the bottom of the order. The winner was Restless, a 35-year-old Rhodes 41 owned and skippered by Eric Crawford. In the previous Bermuda Race, Crawford had to motor the last 200 nm to Bermuda in order to attend the prize-giving ceremony scheduled a week after the start of the race. In 2000, however, he won it all.

John B. Bonds

▪ 2000

      In January 1999 the International Sailing Federation (ISAF) held a world championship regatta in Melbourne, Australia, for 16 classes of one-design boats that had previously conducted their own world championships at different venues. The innovation provided significant advantage to sponsorship support for the events.

      The “Around Alone” race captured wide attention over the winter of 1998–99 as 16 sailors, each manning a boat single-handedly, competed in a race around the world, with three stops. Attrition was high, particularly in the 60-ft class (1 ft =0.3 m). Only two of the original seven boats crossed the finish line at Charleston, S.C. As in the Whitbread Round-the-World Race of 1998, this wide interest was fueled daily by an active World Wide Web site that featured satellite-transmitted messages and images from the boats with current positions and speeds for each one. Giovanni Soldini's dramatic rescue of Isabelle Autissier in the Southern Ocean was followed breathlessly in real time by the worldwide audience. Soldini went on to win the event, breaking previous French dominance of the event. In Division II (50-ft boats), J.P. Mouligne salved Gallic pride with a solid victory.

      In the spring all of the three restored majestic J-Class yachts competed in the Antigua Class Yacht Regatta. These giants are some 130 ft in length, with masts towering 180 ft or more.

      Fallout from the losses sustained in the 1998 Australian Sydney–Hobart Race continued throughout the year. The Cruising Club of Australia published a detailed analysis of the events, with recommendations for improvements in equipment, training, and administration of offshore racing. At the fall meeting of the Offshore Racing Council, the Special Regulations Committee considered these for application worldwide.

      The Champagne Mumm Admiral's Cup series, sailed from Cowes on the U.K.'s Isle of Wight and considered by some to be the World Series of sailing, was won by The Netherlands team of Innovision 7, Trust Computer, and Mean Machine. Team Europe was second and the U.K. third. The Belgian team, headed by Luc Dewulf, won the Tour de France, which was sailed in 27 segments around the periphery of that country in Mumm 30s.

      Roy Disney broke his own monohull Transpacific Race record by some three hours in a new Pyewacket (7 days 11 hr 41 min 27 sec), although the winner on corrected time was James McDowell's Santa Cruz 70. In late 1998 the transatlantic passage record was shattered by Bob Miller's monohull ketch, Mari Cha III, taking two and a half days off the previous record from New York to Lizard Point, Cornwall, Eng., and finishing in 8 days 23 hr 59 min. Laurent Bourgnon sliced two days from the France-to-Guadeloupe Route de Rhum race, finishing in 12 days 8 hr 41 min in a 60-ft trimaran, Primagaz. A radical catamaran, Play Station, logged 580 nautical miles in a single 24-hour period, for a new world record.

      On the political front, the ISAF surprised many member national authorities and previous sponsors of major events by claiming original media rights for all events sailed under the Racing Rules of Sailing, which the ISAF owned. The ISAF Council also approved new rules for advertising on boats, which might greatly affect how the sport appeared to the general public. The ISAF/Sperry Topsider World Sailors of the year were Margriet Matthijse of The Netherlands and Mateusz Kusznierewicz of Poland.

      The Louis Vuitton Challenger Series for the America's Cup commenced in October with teams from Italy, Japan, Spain, France, Switzerland, Australia, and the U.S., represented by five separate challengers. The series, which continued through year's end, would determine which club's entry would face the defending New Zealand team in the America's Cup competition in 2000.

John B. Bonds

▪ 1999

      Sailing in 1998 was dominated by the Whitbread Round-the-World Race. It was contested in level-rated (no scoring adjustments) "Whitbread 60s," which featured a powerful water-ballasted design equipped with the latest technology in satellite communication that was linked to the Internet, allowing spectators from around the world to follow the race on a daily basis for the first time. The racing itself was exciting, as the small fleet remained bunched closely, chasing the weather patterns, predictions of which were provided by a shore-based professional weather service and made available to all boats. A win in the final transatlantic phase of the race by EF Language, skippered by Paul Cayard, assured victory on total points over Merit Cup, which edged EF Language by 15 minutes on the final leg from France to England but fell 138 points behind overall.

      In the U.S. the Key West Race Week (257 entries from 17 countries) and the Southern Ocean Racing Conference (173 boats) continued to be the winter high points in offshore sailing, drawing the latest in new designs. The Australian Sydney-Hobart Race provided very tight racing for the boats but no new course records, as Brindabella crossed the line first and Beau Geste won on corrected time, a method of factoring a boat's handicap. The U.S. Newport-Bermuda Race was among the slowest on record, with Alexia (an ILC Maxi) taking some 90 hours to cross the line first, while Kodiak (cruiser-racer) and Blue Yankee (racer) earned victories with corrected times of more than 86 hours for the 1,022-km (635-mi) race. The Rolex Commodores Cup, sailed off England's southern coast, was dominated by the German Red Team, composed of Hexe, Sequana, and Topas. The Kenwood Cup in Hawaii was captured by the New Zealand team in the boats Big Apple II, G'Net, and White Cloud. The International Sailing Federation's (ISAF's) second quadrennial world championship regatta, staged in Dubayy, U.A.E., for some 1,100 sailors, featured sparkling racing under nearly ideal conditions. Surpassing all these events, however, was the largest-ever Kiel (Ger.) Week, which provided competition for some 5,000 sailors and 2,000 boats from 50 countries.

      On the political front, the Star class boat was back in the Olympic lineup after an International Olympic Committee decision allowing an 11th medal for sailing at the 2000 Games in Sydney, Australia. This reversal represented a major victory for the class, which had been caught off-guard when its elimination from the event was announced. The ISAF/Sperry Topsider World Sailor of the Year (male) was Peter Goss of the U.K., who was recognized for his rescue of Raphael Dinelli in the Vendee Globe Race. Female recipients were Ukrainians Ruslana Taran and Yelena Pakholchik, who were honoured for their consistently outstanding performance in 470 competitions.

      Three more distance records fell in 1998: Roy Disney in Pyewacket, having set a new record in the Transpacific Race in 1997, set a new time of 6 days 14 hr 23 min in the Pacific Cup (San Francisco-Honolulu). Christophe Auquin, who established the Vendée Globe record in 1997, shattered the transatlantic record with a run of 9 days 22 hr 59 min. Steve Fossett in Lakota set a new single-handed transpacific (California-Hawaii) mark of 7 days 22 hr 38 min.

      America's Cup preparations continued around the world. By the end of January, 16 yacht clubs from 10 countries had registered and paid their earnest deposits of $250,000. Disaster struck the Sydney-to-Hobart race in December, when high winds and heavy seas caused the deaths of six sailors and forced more than half of the boats to seek shelter or be abandoned. The U.S. yacht Sayonara won the race.

JOHN B. BONDS

▪ 1998

      The year 1997 began with an unfolding drama in the South Atlantic, where water-ballasted monohulls of increasingly radical design met extreme weather conditions in the single-handed, nonstop circumnavigation race called the Vendee Globe. Only 6 of the 16 entries finished the race, during which four boats and one skipper were lost at sea. The Australian rescue services responded superbly, but many questioned the extraordinary expense involved in the rescues, which also risked the lives of the rescue personnel. The winner of the race was Christophe Auguin, who established a new record of 105 days 20 hr 31 min.

      In December 1996 a new Sydney-Hobart Race record was established by Hasso Plattner's Morning Glory, which finished in 2 days 14 hr 7 min. The Newport (R.I.)-Bermuda passage record was also broken in late 1996 as CCP/Cray Valley, a 15.2-m (1 m=3.28 ft) Jean-Marie Finot design skippered by Jean-Pierre Mouligne, completed the 1,078-km (670-mi) course in 2 days 5 hr 56 min. The 1905 transatlantic record, held by the schooner Atlantic, was broken in April 1997 by the 24.4-m water-ballasted sloop Nicorette, with an elapsed time of 11 days 13 hr 22 min. Some 1,098 km (682 mi) were covered in the first 48 hours of the voyage. In May the fully crewed nonstop circumnavigation time was cut by 3 days when Olivier de Kersauson of France finished in 71 days 14 hr 22 min with a six-man crew in a 26.2-m trimaran. In July Roy Disney's 21.3-m turbo-sled Pyewacket sliced almost a full day off the Transpacific (Los Angeles-Honolulu) Race record held by Merlin since 1977. Bruno Peyron's 26.2-m catamaran set a new multihull record for the same race, with an elapsed time of 5 days 9 hr 18 min.

      After its spring 1997 meeting the International Sailing Federation (ISAF, formerly the International Yacht Racing Union) asked the International Olympic Committee (IOC) to add an 11th medal to the 2000 Olympic Regatta in order to restore the Star class boat to the roster of events. This reflected the highly charged political atmosphere in the ISAF since the annual meeting in November 1996, at which the Star was bounced to make way for the high-performance double-trapeze dinghy, the 49er, which was felt to be well suited to Sydney Harbour. Most observers had expected either the 470 or the Finn to be omitted, but well-prepared defenses by the 470 and Finn classes deflected the knife.

      The appeal to the IOC was not successful, and the lineup for the Sydney Olympic Regatta remained: 49er, Laser, Europe (women), Finn (men), 470 (separate categories for men and women), Mistral boards (separate categories for men and women), Tornado catamarans, and Solings.

      In an exciting final Fastnet Race against defending champion Italy, the United States won the Champagne Mumm Admiral's Cup in August after 28 years out of the winner's circle. The U.S. team consisted of Flash Gordon 3, MK Café, and Jameson. The 1997-98 Whitbread Round-the-World Race started in late September from Southhampton, Eng.

      In March the America's Cup trophy was damaged severely in a sledgehammer attack by a Maori nationalist. Garrands of London, which had crafted it originally, restored the Cup and returned it to Auckland, N.Z. A record 18 clubs filed Cup challenges, including nine syndicates from Europe.

JOHN B. BONDS

▪ 1997

      As 1995 drew to a close, the classic Australian Sydney-Hobart ocean race ended. The winning boat was the ILC 41 Terra Firma, designed by Iain Murray and Associates and owned by Scott Carlile and Dean Wilson; they were also top scorers in the Southern Cross Cup series. Second place went to the Nelson/Marek 43 Quest, skippered by Bob Steel, and third was taken by Stewart Toyota, a Bashford/Howison 41 owned by Ray Roberts and Ian Bashford. The Southern Cross team series was won by the Australian yachts Ragamuffin, Sycorax, and AMP Wild Oats.

      The death of Bashford of Australia at the age of 37 was a loss to the yacht-racing world. He had gained considerable success in many different classes on the water and also ran one of Australia's most successful yacht-building yards, exporting his products to many parts of the world.

      The Europe 1 STAR single-handed race across the Atlantic was marked by both disasters and records. The victory went to Loick Peyron of France in his 18.3-m (60-ft) trimaran Fujicolor in a time of 10 days 10 hr 5 min. Earlier, however, the two leading trimarans had capsized as their crews strove to break the eight-year-old race record. Francis Joyon in Banque Populaire capsized almost in sight of the finish; if he had finished, he would have set a new record. He had said earlier, "The slightest error can prove fatal in such a race," and a moment of inattention was enough. Peter Crowther, competing for his fifth time in this event, had to take to his life raft when his yacht sank. He had just enough time to send out a Mayday call to alert the emergency services. A Royal Air Force aircraft spotted him in his raft and coordinated his rescue by bulk carrier, which picked him up and took him to Halifax, N.S. Other outstanding performances were by Gerry Roufs in his 18.3-m (60-ft) monohull Groupe LG2, who finished only 26 hours after the last 18.3-m trimaran, and Giovanni Soldini in his 15.2-m (50 ft) monohull Telecom Italia, who finished 3 1/2 hours after Roufs to set a new Class II record by 39 hr 22 min.

      Sailors at the Olympic Games, contested off the coast of Georgia, experienced much of the unpredictable weather that many had forecast as difficult light winds were intermingled with tropical storms of intense ferocity. For the most part, however, the medals were won by the prerace favourites, with the exception of the U.S. competitors, who were expected to be medal contenders in most classes but managed only two bronze medals. One of the most outstanding winners was Lee Lai Shan, who competed in the women's Mistral class and won Hong Kong's first sailing Olympic medal. (ADRIAN JARDINE)

▪ 1996

      At the start of 1995, the Sydney-Hobart classic was won by Raptor, a new Bashford-Howison 41 production boat launched just in time for the race. Owned and skippered by Andreas Eichenauer of Germany, Raptor was designed by Iain Murray and Associates. Second overall was the 1994 winner, Ninety Seven, a Farr 47, skippered by Andrew Strachan.

      Also at the start of the year, Isabelle Autissier of France was being airlifted to safety from her stricken and sinking yacht Ecureuil Poitou-Charentes 2 some 1,445 km (900 mi) southwest of Adelaide, Australia. Competing in the BOC Round-the-World Challenge, she had earlier won the first leg of this race by an amazing 5 1/2 days. The winner of the race, for solo sailors, was Christophe Auguin of France in Sceta Calberson.

      New Zealand first challenged for the America's Cup in 1987 and had competed vigorously ever since, clearly learning from each challenge. Led in 1995 by Peter Blake (see BIOGRAPHIES (Blake, Sir Peter James )), with Russell Coutts as his handpicked skipper, Team New Zealand's Black Magic appeared to be a winner from the day she was launched in mid-1994. She swept to victory in the challenge selection series for the Louis Vuitton Cup, losing only one race on the water in 43 starts. The America's Cup series was a completely one-sided affair, as the New Zealand yacht was too good in almost every way for U.S. defender Dennis Conner and his team in Young America. The New Zealanders' 5-0 victory allowed them to celebrate one of their finest hours in sports. The match had been partially overshadowed by a variety of rule changes that many claimed to favour Conner, and in the aftermath of victory Blake revealed that he hoped to clarify the controversial cup rules before the next series, which probably would begin in March 2000 in Auckland, N.Z.

      In the Admiral's Cup competition off the southern coast of the U.K., only eight teams entered. The Nordic countries were allowed to compete as one Scandinavian team, and the British home team only just made it to the starting line after a frantic last-ditch effort by Robin Aisher. The U.S. team set out in determined style, establishing a commanding lead over the Italians and Germans before the high-scoring last race, the 974-km (605-mi) Fastnet. In the first days of the race, during which conditions were tricky because of light winds, the Americans lost contact with their closest rivals, the Italians, who sailed their three yachts into top positions in each class. This won them the Admiral's Cup, with the U.S. second and Germany third.

      After the Cup competition, the format of the event was being actively questioned. Many believed that the time had come for radical change. For example, with so few yachts entering the competition, it seemed that three divisions might be excessive. Other questions that arose concerned premium scoring for some races and the appropriateness of technically advanced, very expensive designs. The voting at the year's end seemed to indicate that the same formula would be used for at least the next series. (ADRIAN JARDINE)

▪ 1995

      The Whitbread Round-the-World event dominated large yacht competition for much of the first half of 1994. The new Whitbread-60 class demonstrated that these smaller yachts could match the much larger maxis in almost all conditions. In fact, the best maxi, New Zealand Endeavour, skippered by Grant Dalton, only just managed to keep its nose ahead of the leading pack of 60s.

      Every leg of the race was remarkable for the fact that the leading five 60s were so closely matched for speed. That Tokio, skippered by Chris Dickson, held an edge over the others in most of the legs was almost certainly due to the skills of this very successful yachtsman. It was not until Tokio's mast collapsed on the Uruguay-to-Fort Lauderdale, Fla., section that any other winner was even considered. When the wind conditions were strong from behind, Lawrie Smith in Intrum Justitia was able to show the fleet the way, recording 690 km (428.7 mi) in one 24-hour period in the South Atlantic. In very light winds Ross Field in Yamaha was the boat to beat, and it was Yamaha that sailed away from the fleet into Fort Lauderdale with a substantial lead after Tokio's accident. The final leg, from Fort Lauderdale to Southampton, England, was again a close race, and at the end New Zealand Endeavour finished first with a time of 120 days 5 hr 9 min 23 sec. Yamaha won the 60s class with a time of 120 days 14 hr 55 min.

      At the same time, two huge multihulls were seeking to win the Jules Verne Trophy for the fastest trip around the world under sail. ENZA New Zealand, with a New Zealand and British crew and recently lengthened to 28 m (92 ft), faced Lyonnaise des Eaux Dumez from France. ENZA New Zealand went ahead at the start of this 41,840-km (26,000-mi) race, recording the best 24-hour run under sail ever—838.3 km (520.9 mi), an average of 21.7 knots. After 74 days 22 hr 17 min, ENZA New Zealand arrived back off the coast of France with the French yacht 1,600 km (1,000 mi) astern. The time was a new record.

      The Sydney-to-Hobart ocean race suffered from the worst storm since the Fastnet disaster in 1979. There were no fatalities on this occasion owing to the stringent safety rules now in force and also to some quite remarkable good fortune. John Quinn, the owner of the J35 MEM, was lost overboard from his yacht at the height of the storm. Given the fact that he spent 5 1/2 hours in the water at night and without a proper life jacket, it was not far short of a miracle that he survived. Only 38 of the 105 starters finished the race, with Andrew Strachan's Ninety Seven, a Farr 47, taking the honours.

      The Commodores' Cup, sailed far off Britain's south coast, was completely dominated by the U.S. "White" team, consisting of Donald Smith's Tripp 50 Falcon, Helmut Jahn's Farr 39 Flash Gordon, and David Clarke's Mumm 36 Pigs in Space. All three yachts had crack helmsmen—Peter Holmberg on Falcon, Terry Hutchinson on Flash Gordon, and Ken Read on Pigs in Space. This was also the first big international test of the new Mumm 36 class. Pigs in Space, the prototype of the class, seemed to have an extra burst of speed on many occasions.

      On the 31st day out of Charleston, S.C., in the BOC Round-the-World solo race, Josh Hall's 60-ft Gartmore Investment Managers struck an underwater object and was disabled. Then in the Cape Town-to-Sydney leg, the sole woman participant, Isabelle Autissier, enjoying an unassailable five-day lead, was eliminated by a broken mast on her 60-ft Ecureuil Poitou-Charentes 2. (ADRIAN JARDINE)

▪ 1994

      In his Farr 60 Ragamuffin, veteran campaigner Syd Fischer won the ocean race from Sydney on the Australian mainland to Hobart in Tasmania. This was the 24th time that he had competed in this classic event. Grant Dalton's Farr-designed maxi, New Zealand Endeavour, placed second.

      Three multihull yachts competed in the round-the-world race for the Jules Verne trophy. ENZA of New Zealand (with some British help) was the revamped Nigel Irens-designed catamaran Formulatag, and the two French boats were Commodore Explorer and the trimaran Charal, which had been rerigged. All three set out at about the same time and made very good time, sailing nearly 800 km (500 mi) during some 24-hour periods. However, those speeds, of 15-20 knots, can be dangerous. On February 16 Charal ran into a submerged object or ice, severely damaging its starboard float, and on February 26 ENZA also struck a submerged object, shattering a dagger board and causing serious structural damage to the hull. Both boats were able to limp back to South Africa after making emergency repairs.

      Commodore Explorer, piloted by Bruno Peyrou (see BIOGRAPHIES), kept going in spite of being slowed by damage to the rigging and sails that was suffered in the southern oceans. After 79 days and some 6 hours, it crossed the finish line to beat the 80-day mark by a few hours.

      The Vendée Globe Challenge, a nonstop solo race around the world, had more than its share of bad luck. Mike Plant lost his life while sailing across the Atlantic to enter the race. The huge ballast bulb fell off the yacht's carbon fibre keel, indicating that the boat most likely capsized with a sudden, violent movement. Then, soon after the event started, Nigel Burgess was killed. Sailing these boats proved to be a risky sport, particularly at night.

      The Admiral's Cup series of events for ocean racers was contested off the southern coast of England in July and August. Early in the series the tides and wind were strong, and the courses were set in The Solent, the rocky channel between the English mainland and the Isle of Wight. Thus, it was not surprising that many keels were damaged, and Ireland's small-boat entry hit the Gurnard Ledge rocks so hard that the keel was wrenched off and the yacht sank quickly. Nobody was hurt, but the yacht was destroyed. The Irish tried to replace the yacht for subsequent races, but the rules did not allow this.

      Among other mishaps the champion one-tonner Brava lost its mast, and the boats of the two top-scoring teams had a major collision, causing Australia's Ragamuffin and Italy's Mandrake so much damage that neither was able to compete in the high-scoring Fastnet race that concluded the series. Once again the Fastnet results produced a surprising team winner of the cup. This time it was the Germans who triumphed, scoring 279.13 points during the 12-day competition to 278.88 for Australia.

      New Zealanders made an impressive showing again in the first leg of the 1993-94 Whitbread Round-the-World Race, which was launched at Southampton, England, on September 25. Dalton's maxi, New Zealand Endeavour, finished the first leg to Punta del Este, Uruguay, ahead of the pack, while Chris Dickson's Tokio (Japan-New Zealand) took the first-leg honours in the Whitbread-60 class. Tokio then ceded first place, however, to Intrum Justitia (Europe), which shaved two and a half days off the second-leg record and arrived in Freemantle, Australia, on December 9. Endeavour, with a broken mast, slipped to second among the maxis. (ADRIAN JARDINE)

* * *

      the sport or pastime of cruising or racing in a sailboat or, more generally, in any large craft propelled by either sail or motor. See yacht.

* * *


Universalium. 2010.

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