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Artemis 2007 Champions

Image Job done.  - It was neither particularly pretty nor was it winning ugly, but Russell Coutts, skippering the crew of owner-helm Torbjorn Tornqvist's Artemis, today finally lifts the Breitling MedCup trophy on the final day of his third season competing on the world's leading fleet racing circuit.
In 2005 on the last day of the season Coutts had to settle for second to Vasco Vascotto and the crew of Pisco Sour. Today a nervous tenth followed by a solid fifth was enough for Coutts and the hand- picked team on Artemis to clinch the 2007 Breitling MedCup Circuit.
In a light easterly breeze with a 17 points cushion to protect Artemis made a shaky start to the first of two final windward leeward races.

Forced to the wrong side of the left favoured track Coutts, Tornqvist and team rounded the first windward mark 13th, with only one boat behind them.  They recovered two places on the second beat, and one on the final run. The second race start went marginally better, but with four boats recalled for jumping the start gun at the pin end of the line, Artemis effectively had the title secured by the first windward mark.

With Swedish businessman Tornqvist driving the 2007 Judel Vrolijk design, and at least six present or past America's Cup winners among the afterguard and crew, Artemis won the 2007 title by just eight points after 32 windward leeward races and six coastal races over the five series regattas this season. Winning the Hyères Trophy, Artemis became the fifth different boat to win a regatta overall this season after Bribon in Alicante, CxG Caixa Galicia in at Breitling Regatta, Siemens Matador in Copa del Rey, Palma and the outgoing 2006 champions Valle Romano Mean Machine in Portimao, Poretugal.

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Chieftain Finshed!

ImageFINISHED! - Chieftain has completed their HSH Nordbank Blue campaign. The Irish Cookson 50 crossed the Cuxhaven finish line at 09.57 on Tuesday morning and has now arrived in Hamburg.

The race has been one of great contrasts for skipper Ger O’Rourke and his multi-national crew. After starting prematurely the team initially took a more northerly route and by day three led on the water and in the overall, corrected time rankings. The next few days saw winds gusting up to 45 knots, mountainous seas and plummeting temperatures as Chieftain charged across the north Atlantic at speeds of up to 27.8 knots, damaging sails, colliding with sunfish and Chinese gybing along the way.

The wind gods have been in a fickle mood throughout the race and after Waypoint Alpha dealt Chieftain a series of headwinds, light winds and no winds. Main rival, the larger and more powerful Outsider of German Admiral’s Cup winner Tilmar Hansen, broke free mid Atlantic and gradually pulled away from Chieftain, eventually claiming line honours on Friday 1 July. As the Irish coast came ever closer a valuable sachet of hot chocolate was sacrificed in an attempt to gain favourable winds, however conditions did not improve and the team faced a final, long beat towards Cuxhaven.

Despite the combined effects of weather, dwindling food stocks and a snack thief who remains at large, morale was high throughout, with the 5 nations represented on board developing into a tight knit, highly effective team.

Whilst Chieftain’s race is finished, most of the HSH Nordbank Blue fleet remains at sea. George David’s 90 foot Rambler is expected to finish on Thursday, with the last competitor due early on Sunday morning. Bon Bon currently leads on corrected time, but much remains to be decided before the final chapter in this highly eventful race is written. 

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Pindar Launched - Video Footage

ImageJune 28th saw the new Open 60 Pindar launched in Auckland's Viaduct Harbor just after 10:00pm.

Her inaugural sail though the Hauraki Gulf went without a hitch on June 30th and days later on July 4th she sailed out of Auckland for Tauranga to be be shipped to Zeebrugge where they will cross the English channel to Cowes in time for the Fastnet Race starting August 12th where she will compete in a field of over 300 over the 608 mile course.

To follow her progress throughout the 2007 Fastnet keep tabs on cooksonboats.co.nz and we will keep you informed of her progress.

Photos Below: Pindar's inaugural sail though the Hauraki Gulf on June 30th.
Photo Credit - Tania Cookson

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Pindar On The Move

Image Pindar,Cooksons Latest Open 60 is prepared for trucking to Auckland's Viaduct where she will be fitted out with the keel, canards and rudders before being launched.

To comply with IMOCA Open 60 Regulations, she must then demonstrate the self righting test.

Pindar must be able to self-right, the ability to turn the boat the right way up if it so happened to get knocked down or turned upside down without the assistance of waves by the skipper taking some action to turn the boat over.

We will keep you up to date with all the latest news on Pindar post launch so keep tabs on cooksonboats.co.nz for future updates.

 
Messages From The Chief

ImageDay 3 - It seems ages since my last report and things have changed dramatically. We spent a whole day flying along, covering a huge amount of miles.  It was quite strange at first, - you felt on the edge when the boat speed went over 20 knots - yet 2 hours later the boat seemed slow if we were not hitting over 20knots boat speed.

To give some idea of how the boat feels under speed, it sails like an oversized surf board and feels like your one hanging legged onto a tube train which keeps on taking corners too fast and then breaking suddenly. Add into that night sailing when the sprays in your face and you can’t see a thing - it makes for interesting times! Sleep also becomes an issue as it’s horrendously noisy downstairs, with the hydraulic winches and waves banging against the side.

Day 4 - Yesterday proved by far our hardest day. We started the day in good form, hitting around 18 - 22 knots of boat speed as we were changing over watches at 6am.  Suddenly we hit something very hard, boat speed crashed to 2 knots and we stopped dead in the water.  Everyone was slammed forward and we were concerned at first that we may have lost our rudder as there was no feeling in the helm.  Unfortunately the kite, which was flapping, ripped as we blew it, adding to our woes.  This was just at 6am.  As we backed the boat up and recovered the kite a completely mangled sunfish appeared, an absolutely huge one which had been completely crushed against the rudder. After testing the rudder we continued on.

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Outsider & Cheiftain Rocket To Lead

ImageOUTSIDER AND CHIEFTAIN ROCKET TO LEAD AS BIG BOATS PREPARE TO TAKE CHASE IN EVENTFUL FIRST WEEK OF HSH NORDBANK BLUE RACE

Newport, RI; June 22, 2007¬ – With powerful westerly winds providing double-digit boat speeds and more than a little drama on the race course, the first week of action in the HSH Nordbank blue race has been fast-paced and unrelenting. And the racing promises to be even more exciting in week two, as the three maxi-yachts in the 3,600 nautical mile race from Newport to Hamburg, Germany, prepare to join the hunt in what is becoming an extremely eventful dash across the North Atlantic.

At the very front of the fleet, the duel is on between the Elliott 52, Outsider – with New Zealand yacht designer Greg Elliott one of nine crewmembers on Tilmar Hansen’s blazing 52-footer – and Irishman Gerard O’Rourke’s well-sailed Cookson 50, Chieftain. Ironically, Chieftain was over early on the June 16th start from Newport, but recovered quickly and, by virtue of its initial northerly heading, jaunted out to the early lead. But when powerful westerly winds up to 45-knots filled in as the week progressed, Outsider revelled in the heavy-air conditions and overtook the Irish 50-footer. Yesterday, Outsider was the first yacht to round Point Alpha – the waypoint signifying the southern limit of icebergs at 41N, 45W – followed soon after by Chieftain. The German 53-footer Bank von Bremen currently holds third place, followed closely by the American 50-footer, Snow Lion.

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A Clever Chief

Image Ger O’Rourke had a nose for the right course. The Chieftain’s Irish owner and skipper is in the lead by taking a very northern course. But the Outsider is right on his heels and approaching fast. Since Saturday, 21 yachts are now on their way across the North Atlantic. On 23 June the three spectacular maxi yachts of the second group will set sail to chase the boats of the first.

Newport/Hamburg, 19 June 2007 – At first glance, there is nothing special with the nose of Ger O’Rourke from Limerick, Ireland. It seems to be doing a good job, though. This season, the Irish yacht Chieftain has already been good for some surprises. At the Antigua Sailing Week she even beat top favourite Mike Sanderson’s V.O. 70 ABN Amro, and now the Cookson 50 is leading the 21-yacht fleet of the HSH Nordbank blue race, because her skipper had a nose for the right course. After passing Point Charlie, the 44-year old O’Rourke sailed further north than the rest of the fleet, and then took a wide swing south. His decision to do so paid off. However, the first serious reckoning looms at Point Alpha.

By now the teams are about half-way to this imaginary point en route which marks the southern ice boundary. From here, the yachts may change their general course from 80 to 40 degrees and head for the coast of Scotland. But they still have a long way to sail before they get there.

The crew of Bank von Bremen with skipper Rainer Persch (64, from Bremen) currently sneaked just ahead of the biggest yacht of the first group, the Swan 82 Grey Goose of Tobias König (44) from Hamburg.

 All yachts sailing further north are still fairly close together, with only the American Snow Lion of Lawrence Huntington sailing away on an even more northern course.

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Open 60 Pindar Rolls
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The latest project on the go in the Cookson Boats yard is the all new Open 60 Pindar.

As you can see by the images and video footage  below construction is well underway and was recently rolled. 

For more information on this project click here.

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Congratulations Emirates Team New Zealand - Winners of the 2007 Louis Vuitton Cup
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Congratulations Team New Zealand

Image Dean Barker and NZL 92 have locked in their appearance in the final of the Louis Vuitton Cup with a commanding 1min 18sec semi-final win over Spain’s ESP 97. The team will now face Luna Rossa who downed mega team BMW Oracle six races booking their place in the best of nine Louis Vuitton Cup final starting on June 1st.

The winner of the final series will then go on to meet Alinghi in the Americas Cup Regatta starting June 23rd.

The team at Cookson Boats wishes team New Zealand all the best for the upcoming races.

For the latest Team New Zealand news and results please visit the official team website at  www.emiratesteamnz.com

 
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