Tuesday, April 24, 2007

Another day without wind at America's cup

Luna Rossa team members wait for the wind.

Monday was another disastrous day for sailing in the Louis Vuitton Regattas.
In a recent statement the Committee announced that they were changing the rules of the competition.
"A stretch of unusual weather has forced the cancellation of five out of six days of racing over the past week," said Michel Bonnefous, the CEO or AC Management. "As a consequence of this situation and following consultation with the Challenger Commission, AC Management, as the sole event authority to the 32nd America's Cup and Louis Vuitton Cup, has decided to modify the competition for Round Robin One and Round Robin Two of the Louis Vuitton Cup."

The changes mean that there will be no 'off day' between Round Robin One and Round Robin Two. All full flights of racing will be sailed in order. There are two reserve days (May 8 and May 9) at the end of Round Robin Two. If needed, Round Robin Two may include two races per day. The date of the start of the Semi Finals is unchanged, with racing scheduled to begin on May 14."

Today, tuesday, is looking a little more hopeful.... we wait and see...

John Cale, Chicks on Speed, Jay Jay Johanson, Ladytron at Observatori Valencia, May 11 and 12

Observatori is the Festival the International of Artistic Investigation here in Valencia, and is now considered the best of its kind in Spain, from its inception in 2000 it has always invited artists in music, installation, performance, robotics, video art, design, photograph or net art who are pushing the boundaries of their chosen field, it all makes for a festival full of diversity and surprises. The Theme this year is 'feelings' - quoting directly from their press release - 'Feelings, leitmotiv of Observatori 2007, invites to us to reflect on our capacity to feel, and on how the feelings they cause in us different psychic states that determine the way with which we communicate with the rest of the world.'

The main stage at the Science Museum Príncipe Felipe at the City of Arts and Sciences has a brilliant line up on both the 11th and 12th of May.
Friday 11
19:00 Dorian Pias - ES
20:30 Jay Jay Johanson Virgin - SUE
22:00 John Cale EMI –USA
23:30 Jimi Tenor & Kabu Kabu Sähkö - FIN
01:00 Vive la fête Surprise - BE
Saturday 12
19:00 Neon Flash - ES
20:30 Ms John Soda Morr Music - DE
22:00 Chicks On Speed Chicks On Speed - DE
23:30 Ladytron Ryko - UK

There are also performances Sala Gallera (just off the Ayntamiento in C/aluders, 7) and Sala Hot ( a tem minute walk from the science museum)

More on the whole shebang at http://observatori.com

Thursday, April 19, 2007

He's Practicing. In the hope that by the time he's old enough there will be some wind!

Joshua on his boat. photo©2007Mike Adams

Every cloud has a silver lining! But still no wind!!

Another day here in Valencia with no wind and no sailing in the Louis Vuitton Round Robins. For a moment this morning it looked like there would be some, but then by race time, it was gone.

These delays have been welcomed by the Italian Team +39 Challenge, who broke their mast in the fleet races of the Louis Vuitton Act 13. This extra time has given them a chance to repair the mast, which came out of the oven yesterday after lamination. Repairs were carried out by the shore team of +39 Challenge, coordinating two groups of five on twelve-hour shifts.

Goran Marström (64 years old, silver medal in Tornado class in the 1980 Olympics), the mast builder, arrived from Sweden for a last check; “The shore team have done an excellent job. After repairs the mast is almost brand new, only 7 kilos heavier. With the boats weighing 24 tons its higher centre of gravity is not perceptible in the slightest.”

If the team decide to use the new mast for sailing on friday, you might just see the crew testing it on a night sail tonight.

Wednesday, April 18, 2007

Day three without a breath of wind! And still no racing!

A perfect day for a balloon ride....photo©2007Mike Adams

Yep, a third day without wind here in Valencia for the Louis Vuitton races at Port America's Cup. So what do you do if you can't watch the racing, try our selection of hand-picked suggestions by clicking the headline above.
A perfect day for a balloon ride....

Tuesday, April 17, 2007

Another day without a race at America's cup

Waiting at the Louis Vuitton Cup: German sailor Jan Schoepe is posting the weather condition under his feet. Photo: Heinrich Hecht / United Internet Team Germany

The Picture says it all!
No racing today in Valencia.
Tomorrow's forecast looks hopeful - Beautiful 21º with variable clouds. Winds from the E at 16 km/h.
Let's hope they're right!

There's more than just boats at the America's Cup

If you are undecided about visiting the America's Cup here in Valencia because you don't know the first thing about boats, then think again. There is so much to do! The Port America's cup is a lovely place to spend a day.
People watch! Spot the sailors by looking out for the crow's feet around the eyes, years of looking u at the sails!
Eat and Drink! There are 22 bars and restaurants serving well priced food and drink
Take a Water Taxi! The queues are long at some times of the day but you can g across the harbor on a free water bus.
Take a Mini Train! - again free and a nice little ride from one side of the harbor to the other.
Ride in a Balloon! - a ten minute tethered ride to 150 euros metres to admire the view is only 6 euros - 9 euros when the regattas are on
Shop! There are the official America's Cup stores selling merchandise and each of the team houses have shops of their own. We particularly like the America's Cup Towels with the Mariscal Designed Logos.
Watch a Light Show! Every sailing night there is a spectacular megawatt light show on the Velas y Vents building

And just along from the Port is the wonderful Malvarrosa beach, miles of clean sand perfect for catching the rays. Yes the sun is finally back.

And if that just isn't enough, there is the beautiful city of Valencia to explore!

Demi Moore, Ashton Kutcher and Chloe Sevigny In Valencia

Ashton Kutcher 18th man on Luna Rossa

Chloe Sevigny Arrives at the Prada Party

Demi arrives with Ashton at the Prada Party at the Mercado Central in Valencia

Helen Clark, New Zealand Premiere as 18th man on the Emirates New Zealand Boat in Port America's Cup

David Bustemante and friends wait for the wind at America's Cup

Well, the rumour that Angelina Jolie and Brad Pitt were among the guests expected at the Prada bash at the Mercado Central proved to be just that, but among the mostly European stars that did turn up were Demi Moore, Ashton Kutcher and Chloe Sevigny. Non Hollywood was Helen Clark, the New Zealand Prime Minister

It was a rainy night (again) in Valencia but the stars arrived in their droves for this private party at the beautiful Mercado Central with onlookers kept at a distance in the hope of seeing someone. The building was a mass of red lights and there was chill-out music. Limo after limo came up the street and discharged its precious cargo onto the steps in front of the building.

Among the Spanish stars who were there were Agatha Ruiz de la Prada, wearing a typical Agatha Ruiz de la Prada outfit, who left on foot, looking none too happy, shortly after the arrival of Demi and Ashton.

Those that did stay, danced and ate until the early hours. The Stallholders had been reportedly paid 350 euros each to stay open throughout the event.

Next day both Ashton Kutcher and Helen Clark were 18th men on the Prada and Emirates New Zealand boats.

David Bustemante and his wife sat around with friends on one of the Hospitality boats waiting, in vain as it turns out, for the racing to begin. No wind stopped play but hopefully today there will be enough wind to start the round robin Luis Vuitton Matches.

Thursday, April 12, 2007

Music for the America's Cup

Joe Cocker

Jeff Mills

Joaquin Sabina


The Supremes

The specially erected stage at Port America's Cup will be host to a galaxy of stars from this Saturday night 14th April.
To christen the stage there is a free concert by Efecto Mariposa. This will take place after a spectacular on the water starting at 21.30 involving Large floats, lights and fireworks. So, what with the kite festival all day, you could have a very long and happy day on the beach! The weather forecast is pretty bad, so let's hope they're all wrong.
Other concerts during the America's Cup announced so far are Il Divo on the 28th April, A night of Flamenco with Kiko Veneno, Deliqtientes, Muchachito Bombo Inferno and Tomasito on 5th May, Lucie Silvas on 18May. Jeff Mills on 26 May, Paco de Lucia on 8th June, Joe Cocker, 15th June, Dulce Pontes on 16th June, The Temptations and the Supremes on 30 June, Joan anuel Serrat and Joaquin Sabina on 03 July - get your tickets now!

Maoris, Moors and Christians

There's a surprise happening in Valencia on Saturday 14th of April. It is New Zealand Day in Valencia and to celebrate, Maori Dancers and singers are going to perform in the Ayuntamiento from 1pm alongside a group of Moors andd Christians. You will have the chance to hear the world famous Maori singer Hinewehi Mohi, whose album 'Oceania' has been a worldwide bestseller.
The dancers will then form a parade to the Museo Benlliure in Calle Blanquerias to open the Art of New Zealand exhibition.
Not to be missed.

Sunday, April 08, 2007

The Louis Vuitton Act 13. Alinghi are the Victors

Prizegiving Alinghi: Brad Butterworth, skipper, receives the trophy from Christine Belanger, Louis Vuitton Cup Director.
ACM 2007/Photo: Carlo Borlengh

The weather gods smiled on Valencia yesterday afternoon. The rain stopped, the clouds parted and the sun appeared, bringing with it a gentle, if variable breeze.

Race 6 got under way after 75 minutes when the wind settled to a steady 7 knots. Desafío Español (the name means Spanish Challenge), steered by Karol Jablonski of Poland rounded the windward mark ahead of Alinghi, with Ed Baird of USA steering. They were followed by Emirates Team NZ steered by Ben Ainslie of Britain and these three boats held their positions to the finish.

Race 7 started at 17.30, a time when most sailors are thinking of heading for port with the prospect of a hot shower and a few beers – but hey, this is professional yacht racing and there are still places to be gained (or lost) on the leader board! Once again, Alinghi start at the back of the fleet – they really have nothing to lose at this stage and this is the last opportunity they will have to pit themselves against the real opposition until the Cup match itself in June. By the windward mark, they had climbed to 4th, with BMW Oracle leading Desafío Español and Luna Rossa. Desafío Español suffered two penalties in quick succession and the resulting turns they had to accomplish pushed them down the fleet. Alinghi sailed a faultless race to claim their 4th victory of the series. BMW Oracle was second, followed by Mascalzone Latino in third.

The final scores for the series:

1 Alinghi 78
2 Emirates Team NZ 64
3 Mascalzone Latino 63
4 Luna Rossa 60
5 BMW Oracle 57
6 Desafío Español 55
7 Shosholoza 43
8 Victory Challenge 35
9 Areva 31
10 United Internet Ger 29
11 +39 17
12 China Challenge 15

Alinghi have truly stamped their authority upon fleet but now they have to go and play on their own for the next two months! The rest of the fleet will be busy analysing their results and competing vigorously with one another in a series of ‘to the death’ contests to find the challenger capable of taking on Alinghi for the America’s Cup.
Moke O'Neill

Saturday, April 07, 2007

Finally, Some Real Racing

Yesterday, the unthinkable happened; BMW Oracle, one of the top teams suffered an embarrassing loss of both spinnaker and foresail during Race 5 and dropped from joint second in the series to fifth.

Race 4 was sailed in almost perfect conditions with sunshine and blue skies, despite thunder clouds building over the Sierra de la Calderona. Cup holder Alinghi, steered by Ed Baird took an early lead and won comfortably from two Italian boats, Mascalzone Latino steered by Flavio Favini and Luna Rossa steered by Australian James Spithill

Race 5 started in a steady 12 knot breeze. It looked as if Alinghi made a deliberate attempt to start down the fleet – maybe to give the crew more experience of close-quarters racing? Even so, she pulled back from 9th to round the windward mark in third, behind Luna Rossa and Emirates Team NZ. During the final run, any one of three or four boats could have one but Emirates Team NZ, helmed by Britain’s Ben Ainslie took the gun, followed by Luna Rossa and Alinghi.

After 5 races, the leader board looks like this:

Alinghi 55
Emirates Team NZ 47
Luna Rossa 46
Mascalzone Latino 45
BMW Oracle 39
Desafío España 37

Two more races are scheduled for today but, with persistent rain and light winds forecast, it is likely that only one race may be possible. If so, the battle would seem to be for second place with just one or two points separating Emirates Team New Zealand from Italian teams Luna Rossa and Mascalzone Latino.

Thursday, April 05, 2007

Let's Go Fly a Kite!

Three days of Kite flying on Valencia's Malvarrosa beach 13,14,15 April at the 10th Festival Internacional De Cometas. International teams from nine countries will be competing and displaying their extraordinary kites. It's a lovely day out for all the Family!

Alinghi leads after 3 races

Following Tuesday’s light airs opening race in the Louis Vuitton Act 13 series, Wednesday got off to a cracking start with a brisk 15 knot breeze. America’s Cup holder Alinghi, steered by American Ed Baird won, with Desafío España steered by Karol Jablonski of Poland 2nd and Emirates Team NZ , helmed by Britain’s Ben Ainslie in 3rd. The third race of the series started just minutes after the last boat (China Team) had finished. In 14 knots of wind, Mascalzone led for much of the first leg, slipping to third as Alinghi and BMW Oracle came through.

Confusion at the windward mark led to the dismasting of +39 following an incident with United Internet Team Germany and Areva, the French yacht. Alinghi wins again, followed by Luna Rossa, steered by Australian James Spithill. Desafío España was 3rd, despite being over the line at the start and having to go back. Desafío is clearly a boat to watch out for in this series.

After three races, the leader board looks like this:

Alinghi 33
BMW Oracle 27
Emirates Team NZ 27
Desafío España 26
Luna Rossa 25
Mascalzone 25

Five teams with just two points between them – This is shaping up to be a great series. Thursday looks like bringing rain and more light winds, so there could be further upsets before Saturday’s final race!
Mike O'Neill

Monday, April 02, 2007

Looking under the skirts

Alinghi's 2 declared boats with their skirts off.

Well….today we finally got to see what all the America’s Cup teams were being so coy about – they finally dropped the ‘skirts’ surrounding their closely-guarded hulls to reveal……a range of variously shaped ‘appendages’ intended to give their yachts the edge over the competition. Having seen all the fins and bulbs, and listened to the opinions of the many designers here in Valencia today for the unveiling, I have to admit to being no wiser as to who will prove to have the fastest yacht.
read more info by blicking the headline.