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Archive for April, 2010

International Champion Race Boat Donated to US Naval Academy

Thursday, April 29th, 2010

Commander Chris Thomassy, Director, U.S. Naval Academy Sailing, announced today that Mr. and Mrs. John Kilroy Jr. of Malibu and San Francisco, California USA have donated their modified TransPac IRC 52 high performance racing sailboat SAMBA PA TI to the Varsity Offshore Sailing Team (VOST) program at the United States Naval Academy.

“On behalf of Naval Academy Sailing, I would like to thank Mr. Kilroy for his generous contribution to our varsity offshore sailing program,” said Commander Thomassy. “Navy Sailing competes to win! The addition of a TransPac-52 to our fleet ensures our program remains world-class, and provides us a significant platform for character and leadership development of future American naval officers.”

The TransPac 52, renamed INVICTUS (Latin for “unconquered”) by the graduating class of 2010 VOST members as it is their class motto, was designed by Spain’s Botin Carkeek Yacht Design and built by the world renowned Cookson Boats of New Zealand in 2006-07. The boat was featured in the 2007 movie “Morning Light” about the Transpacific Yacht Race, in which she won her division. Among her other notable achievements, SAMBA PA TI was the Overall Winner of the 2007 Waikiki Offshore Series, the 2007 and 2008 Rolex Big Boat Series IRC Division Regattas and the St. Francis Perpetual Trophy for both years in San Francisco, CA. In her first regatta in Annapolis, the 2008 IRC East Coast Championship, she was the overall winner and made a clean sweep in the 2009 TransPac Race by being the first to finish in her division, winning the coveted Barn Door award (fastest elapsed time of all of human powered traditionally designed sailboats), the King Kalakaua Trophy (best corrected time in the race), the Governor of Hawaii Trophy; the W.H. Steward Memorial Trophy; the Harry Uhler Memorial Trophy; and the trophy for the Shortest Elapsed Time for a sailboat under 73 Feet. The boat comes with an amazing pedigree!

In considering the future of the yacht, Mr. Kilroy realized that he wouldn’t be sailing his 52’ much in 2010 and possibly into 2011. Asked about his reasoning behind donating the boat to the U. S. Naval Academy, he commented “What better way to give something back to the sport and to the people of the military than to donate a world class racer at the top of its game to the Naval Academy,” he explained.

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Rolex Farr 40 Championship – Update

Thursday, April 22nd, 2010

For the teams competing at the Rolex Farr 40 Worlds in the Dominican Republic, it was a long, hot morning waiting dockside at the Casa de Campo Marina for the breeze to fill in. PRO Peter Reggio postponed the 11am start and kept the fleet dockside where they could find shade and stay hydrated. After an hour and a half delay, the fleet was sent out to the race area just a mile out from the marina entrance and racing was underway by 1pm. But the tropical Caribbean – temperatures in the 900F and high humidity – tested crewmembers’ concentration and focus.

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Enjoy Sailing

Wednesday, April 21st, 2010

Among the best ways to enjoy sailing, and to improve your sailing skills, is with a small boat. Small boats allow you to experience different bodies of water without the time involved in sailing a big boat to a destination. Granted, overnight accommodations need different preparations but there are campgrounds, B&B’s, motels, hotels and lots of other options.

Depending on the boat, it could be transported on the top of your car or towed on a trailer. It makes a convenient way to transport extra gear for an extended trip. Set up time is minimal and the job is easy. You can sail in a different body of water each day or, if you find a place that appeals more, you can spend several days in that location. Weekend “cruises” to varying locations are now a reality.

Small boats are great teachers. A little practice in shallow water can be used to teach the right way to get a capsized boat back on its bottom. Then, with the proper PFD donned, you are off to get the feel of a boat. If something dumb is done on a small boat it will be manifest by being dunked in the water. With a little more sailing you will get the feel of the boat. You will learn how to move your weight around in the boat to preclude occasional dips. Small boat experience will translate to big boat knowledge The opposite is not always true. The righting provided by keel ballast forgives many sailing blunders

Regardless the boat or the venue, keep improving your sailing skills, spend time on the water, keep the boat in shape and enjoy sailing.

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Muskegon Yacht Club Spring Regatta

Wednesday, April 21st, 2010

While the Torresen Marine boat yard has never really gone into hibernation this year, the launch season is upon us. Just down the road the Muskegon Yacht Club is quietly gearing up for its first regatta of the season.For over thirty years the Muskegon Yacht Club has put on a spring one-design regatta which started back in the days of 210’s. As the years have rolled off this regatta which began with the 210 class, moved through the J24 decades, and is now into the techy Melges 24’s and Audi Melges 20’s.Muskegon Lake has always provided an excellent venue for this type of yacht racing. With its flat water and spring thermals, the sailing is usually fast and exciting, all while only yards from the Muskegon Yacht Club and Torresen Marine Boat Yard. This year should be no different with an expected thirty boats or so. The club is open for all beginning with the Friday Night boat prep. The grills will be going and the beer will spill as hearty spring racers begin their season.

Come join the fun beginning Friday May 14th and running through the weekend. The shenanigans of boating are here for all to enjoy. Take a stop at The Torresen Marine Ship’s Store to see what is new this season, then head on over to the Yacht Club for a “public welcome” weekend.

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Torresen Marine Solar Project

Wednesday, April 21st, 2010

With Earth Day 2010 fast approaching, Torresen Marine is preparing to launch Michigan’s largest solar power project to date.  Construction of the 150KW solar power array on top of a Torresen Marine storage building was started late last month with ribbon cutting scheduled for April 22.  The new system will help offset a significant portion of Torresen Marine’s power usage and produce energy equivalent to the amount used by 20 homes in the surrounding community.Since its announcement last month, the project has generated a lot of media buzz in local, regional and national publications and broadcast outlets.  In a recent interview Brian Torresen said “Our sailboat customers are very environmentally friendly. Our waterfront location was also a perfect fit for the technology specified for us by Inovateus Solar with the high winds keeping the snow off the panels,” he added.Local officials are also excited about the project.  Mayor of Muskegon, Steve Warmington, said “We’re thrilled that Torresen Marine and Chart House Energy are taking a leadership role in renewable energy in the state of Michigan to produce this solar energy project right here in Muskegon”.Quick Facts about the Torresen Solar Project:

  • Project costs: $740,000
  • Partner organizations: Chart House Energy and Inoveteus Solar
  • Location: Roof top of 28,000 square foot storage building at Torresen Marine, Inc. in Muskegon, Michigan
  • Solor Technology Used: 750 Scheuten Solar USA Panels
  • Watch the construction progress online through our web camera at:
  • Part of multiple environmentally friendly efforts of Torresen Marine, Inc (certified Clean Marina)

Be among the first to know about new developments related to this project by becoming a fan of Torresen Solar on Facebook .

More information (including live data on power generation once the system goes live) available at

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Heating Up Off Casa De Campo

Wednesday, April 21st, 2010

The docks of the Casa de Campo Marina were buzzing again today as competitors completed sail measurement, weigh-ins and registration in advance of the start of the Rolex Farr 40 World Championship, which begins tomorrow, Wednesday, April 21 and continues through Saturday, April 24

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Estate Master Claims 2010 Rolex Farr 40 Pre-Worlds

Monday, April 19th, 2010

The sailing conditions off the Casa de Campo resort in La Romana, Dominican Republic lived up to expectations as the Farr 40 fleet finished up a five-race series for the Rolex Farr 40 Pre-Worlds. Ten boats and teams from four countries – United States, Italy, Australia, and Germany – are in the Caribbean to tune up for the Rolex Farr 40 World Championship which will run from April 21 – 24, 2010.

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Newport It’s OK For Now – But DC Will Have His Say

Friday, April 16th, 2010

As the Australians learned at the 1987 America’s Cup down in Fremantle, don’t mess with Dennis Conner when he has a score to settle.

That’s on the minds of Lew Beery, Andy Rose and Tom Purcell, the Tres Gordos LLC group that owns It’s OK, an Andrews 50, as they prepare to defend last year’s Maxi class victory in the Newport Ocean Sailing Association’s 63rd Newport to Ensenada International Yacht Race starting Friday, April 23, off Balboa Pier.

The Tres Gordos guys beat Conner’s Farr 60, Stars & Stripes, by 3 minutes 29 seconds, with Alec Oberschmidt’s Reichel/Pugh 50, Staghound, only eight minutes farther back.

That’s talking PHRF corrected handicap time, which is what counts when disparate boats compete. Theoretically, the system rewards the crews that sail their boats closest to their rated potentials.

Boat for boat, Stars & Stripes, with a rating of minus-63 seconds per mile, actually finished about 28 minutes ahead of It’s OK (-57) in their contest for the President of Mexico trophy last year.

“And, Beery said, “if Dennis hadn’t hit an island of kelp he would have beaten us. He did it early in the morning around 3 … probably got too close in [to shore].”

But last year’s top three Maxi finishers will go at it again for 125.5 nautical miles of the offshore tradition.

Conner said, “I have enjoyed the race since the mid-50s. My first races were on PCC and Owens Cutters. In those days it was THE race everyone looked forward to as there were much fewer races.

“Not much has changed in the race itself. Ensenada has seen the biggest changes with the new downtown and paved roads.”

Beery said of the 2009 contest, “What was really amazing was that the first three boats couldn’t have sailed a shorter course. All of the other guys went clear outside.”

It was a special year with a moderate but steady offshore breeze blowing from an ideal direction that allowed the fleet to sail a straight-line reaching course until turning into Todos Santos Bay.

Beery, Rose and Purcell certainly know the way. Beery reckons he has sailed more than 40 Newport-Ensenada races and Rose and Purcell about 30 each.

“That gives us about a hundred years of experience in the race on board,” Beery said.

Beery’s boats named It’s OK also have been a race tradition.

“This is number seven, and all of ‘em have been in the race,” he said.

And the fun doesn’t stop at the finish.

“We check into the Coral [hotel], and we have our annual croquet tournament there,” Beery said. “I’m the defending champion in that, too. One of the rules is you have to hold a glass of wine in one hand and hit the ball with the other.”

Until then, they are focusing on sticking as close as they can to Conner.

“He is a fun competitor,” Beery said.

Conner said, “I am hoping for another good time in this year’s race.”

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Anyone can be a winner in Newport2Ensenada

Thursday, April 8th, 2010

First-to-finish is nice and a record is extra special, but how about a $6,000 Lamborghini watch?

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Frontrunners Close on Finish Line

Wednesday, April 7th, 2010

The Rolex China Sea Race fleet has been making the most of a strong northeast breeze, force 6-7 (21-30 kts), ticking off the miles as they make their way toward the Philippine coast. At 5:00 pm local time, Strewth (AUS) was 70 nautical miles due west of Santiago Island, making 11+ knots on a southeastly heading, with 135nm to the finish. Both Hi Fi (HKG) and Evolution Racing (AUS) have been leading Strewth; however, neither boat has been tracking. Based on an earlier estimated position, Hi Fi is expected to finish around midnight tonight.

Local weather conditions are the tricky bit for navigators and tacticians; once the boats approach the coast, the southeasterly sea breeze dominates. But where that transition zone is and how long the breeze sustains into the evening, is the big question. Many a boat has come storming down the race track, only to sail into a hole and sit while another boat finds a lane with breeze to get past them.

Ray Robert’s on Evolution Racing is a frequent competitor at the Rolex Sydney Hobart Race on his Cookson 50, of the same name. And while he is a successful competitor on the Asian Yachting Grand Prix Circuit as well, this Rolex China Sea Race is only the second for Roberts, who previously sailed with Frank Pong on his Jelik.

Prior to the race, Roberts said, “This boat is now one year, and I’m just starting to get it up to its’ potential. We had a first at the Singapore Straights and at Royal Langkawi (International Regatta), so those last two races got the boat up to speed, so I’m hoping to continue that process. But this one will be a little more tricky because of the wind and tidal influence. The breeze will be quite hard to read; for those who are a little bit aggressive and read the wind right, they’ll come out in front.”

When asked about Evolution’s competitors, Roberts said, “Hi Fi, Strewth, and the local boys on Mandrake- a lot of experience on that boat, a lot of talent. And then of course, if the breeze shuts down, it could become a 40-footer race. The Achambaults (Avant Garde, Red Kite II), the Mills 41 (Ambush). Bit of a roll of the dice when you get weather conditions like this.

“When I say ‘roll of the dice’ that’s only part of the element, you’ve got to sail well, you’ve got to make the calls on the weather, and get them right. There’s a luck element there, you have to look at all of the factors and if you get it right, you come out looking good.”

As of the 8:00 am position reports, the leader in IRC Racing A on corrected time, Sir Robin Knox-Johnston’s Ffreefire 70 was leading EFG Mandrake (HKG). In IRC Racing B, Ernesto Echauz’ Subic Centennial (PHI) was leading Ambush (HKG); IRC Racing C saw Simon Powell’s Sell Side Dream (HKG) ahead.

In IRC Premier Cruising, it was Jon Wardill’s Australian Maid (AUS) leading his division. This is the fourth Rolex China Sea Race for Wardill, who before the start said about this year’s race, “I’m looking forward to it. It suits my boat. It’s a very old, wooden boat and we’re still competitive. Long-distance passage racing is where she traditionally does her best. Hopefully we’ll get enough wind to get us down there.”

Wardill, along with some of his crew, hail from Darwin, Australia, and he has two Dutchman onboard as well. Wardill said, “We’re a very experienced crew, so we should do pretty well. We usually do the King’s Cup, and every second year we come up and do the China Sea Race, the Commodore’s Cup, and after that we’ll go to Thailand. It’s a pretty big programme and it’s a long way. I keep the boat up in Asia rather than in Darwin these days…it’s a long way to come.”

In IRC Cruising, it was CP Wong’s Tipsy Frenz (HKG), ahead in his division. Wong, who’s competed in the race 11 times, sails with an all-Chinese crew, most of whom are doctors. They’ve had a syndicate for over 20 years, campaigning several “Tipsy’s”.

Pole Star and SkyWave have joined forces to provide a web-based tracking facility for the event. Shore-based fans can follow the racing online at

This year is the 25th edition of the Rolex China Sea Race, which was first run in 1962, and has been held every two years since then. The 565 nautical mile race runs from the start in Victoria Harbour, Hong Kong to Subic Bay, Philippines. In 1972, it was officially recognised by the Royal Ocean Racing Club, and is now run under their prescriptions. The race has continued to attract increased interest and serves to draw the international yachting fraternity to Hong Kong and Southeast Asia.

The Rolex China Sea Race joins other prestigious Rolex sponsored events including the Rolex Farr 40 World Championship, Maxi Yacht Rolex Cup, Rolex Swan Cup, Rolex Middle Sea Race and the Rolex Sydney Hobart Yacht Race.

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