Team New Zealand in France

06/27 INSHORE RACE (2 LEGS) Scheveningen (Deutshland) 90 1ST   R. COUTTS
06/28 - 06/29 OFFSHORE RACE (70 MILES ) Scheveningen to Oostende(Belgium)52,5 1ST   R. COUTTS
06/30 INSHORE RACE ( 1 LEG) Oostende 45 1ST   R. COUTTS
06/30 - 07/01 OFFSHORE RACE ( 118 MILES ) Oostende to Dieppe 90  1ST   R. COUTTS
07/02 INSHORE RACE (2 LEGS) Dieppe 47 2ND   H. PEPPER
07/03- 07/04 OFFSHORE RACE ( 170 MILES) Dieppe to Granville Leg reduced on mark CH1 at 70 miles from the start 70 3RD  H. PEPPER
07/05 INSHORE RACE ( 1 LEG ) Granville 32 3RD

The crew that participated to the legs from the start to Dieppe races was tired when arriving in Granville because, as Russell Coutts said it, the boat is physically demanding and small for those long offshore races. At each arrival atfer the long legs all the guys were just soared and exhausted. The boat is to small to get somebody to sleep, and the guys spent up to 24 hours without sleeping. They all consider that this kind of boat shouldn't race more than 40 miles offshore. Even if Russell Coutts sailed for the first time on this kind of boat on the inshore races in Scheveningen he dominated the fleet and finished first. His skills are such an evidence that after the first legs some of the professional french skippers declared that the "Kiwis" were out of touch. However everybody was waiting for the results of the Sun Microsystems / Team New Zealand crew without Russell Coutts.

So far the legs were runned in a 20 to 35 knots wind, and the long legs were on the wind with rough sea. Tough conditions for the men and the boats. The weather forecasts from Dieppe to Granville gave another up wind race, fortunately the wind shifted and they got the opportunity to hoist the spinnaker and rest a while. During all the time the race lasted the ranking changed every hour. The wind was shifting and decreasing, the current was also a main factor of decision. The comittee decided to stop the leg before Granville and the boats came back to the harbour with main sail and engine.

Weather changed and Team New Zealand rank too. The guys know that low weather conditions are not really good for them.

The inshore race in Granville counted  for nothing in the ranking as far as none of the leader boats got a good result.

Today was another day, M. Jones came over from england just to run the leg from Granville to St Quay Portrieux (52 miles). The leg took place in 8 to 12 knots wind West shifting North West. Most of the race took place  upwind with a hoist of spinnaker after passing the mark on the way to the end of the race. Sun microsystems / Team New Zealand headed up the race until they hit a rock at a 8 knots speed. At this time Marseille 2600 / RFO took the advantage. Just before they passed the next mandatory buoy  the two boats crossed, Team New Zealand went about just behind Marseille 2600 / RFO and was announced at one second behind it at the mark. They finished with the spinnaker just in front of the harbour of St Quay Portrieux. Everybody on board seemed happy with this nice race and with the results that tighten the ranking of the first boats.


Team New Zealand realised a bad performance on the Offshore race from St Quay Portrieux to Brest ( 127 Miles ). The race began upwind with an average of 12 knots. Passing the island « Ile de Batz » they hoisted the spinnaker and were at this time halfway from Brest and were announced at the 17th place ( out of 29 boats, one abandonned because it had a team member wounded on board ). At the « Vieux Moines » ( they had run 64 miles) the wind had decreased to 6 knots and TNZ only gained 1 place.

Richard Dodson still does not understand what happened durind the night «  We were in the first five boats all nights, we even lead the race. But in the morning all the decisions that we took were false if we consider that the wind was always somewhere else ». Tricky is the word they’ve used the most from the start of the Tour to define the French sailing conditions and the MUMM30.

However even if dumbfound the guys think this experience is worth to be lived as far as everything is good for their training to the America’s Cup. They are also disappointed by the fact that the comittee stopped the leg at the « Le Vieux » buoy located at 13 miles from the arrival. Just after, in the mouth of Brest harbour the ranking changed because some of the boats (TNZ included) hit some wind, hoisted the spinnakers and began to back up all their competitors.


1st Kateie 90  582,75
2nd Marseille 2600 RFO 74  559,75
3rd  Sun Microsystems /TNZ 54  536,75


The guys were pretty upset while arriving on the wharf yesterday morning (9th of July), the leg from St Quay Portrieux to Brest had been really frustrating for them. But they have enough will to get back from this half tinted situation and used their obstinacy to drive their way back on the stretch of water.

The inshore race took place with a North / North East  thermal wind blowing at 15 knots.
They choose to start up in the middle of the fleet to point at the coast on the very right of the competitors. We could observe at the winward buoy that the boats that choose the other side of the natural harbour of Brest hit the current and passed the mark of the course in leading position. Sun Microsystems / Team New Zealand beared it away in 11th position.

At the leeward buoy they backed up at the 8th place. The wind conditions were pretty different when they wind up to the winward mark. It shifted to the South flackening to 6 knots. TNZ choose  to place the boat at the wind of the fleet, then went about and took a stand in the middle just before arriving at  the buoy. They inserted themselves at the 5th position between all their opponents while bearing away just behind Ile de France and Abalone.

They lost one place at the arrival finishing 6th. However they gained one place at the general grading and hold the 2nd place.

Until this leg to the end of the Tour the comittee withdraws from the amount of points the worst leg raced with coeffcient 1.

9th of July grading after INSHORE RACE IN BREST

1st Kateie 30  582,75
2nd Sun Microsystems/TNZ 37 563,75
3rd  MARSEILLE 2600/RFO 28  559,75
4th REGION ILE DE France 39  535, 75
5th KIA AUTOMOBILES 32  521, 75


The guys did a good job on this long leg and it was easy to notice that they were relaxed when arriving. They ran the leg first till the first mark but followed the leader of the Tour, Kateie, on a wrong course where the current slowed them down. They did not persever in this option and came back in the race with the other competitors, hiting the rises and gusts as much as they could.

Second event that just give them a few emotions, the crash they had with Marseille 2600 ans / RFO : as they were passing the Raz de Sein, the current and the swell were strong. As Richard Dodson said it « the boats were nearly out of control, we find ourselves on a top of a wave at the same time than Marseille 2600 ans / RFO and they touched us. As they were in fault they made a 720 penalty to repair, and we staid before them ».

Mike Quilter (navigator) did not expect that kind of tough conditions while he was carefully preparing the currents map just before the leg. At the arrival he was still surprised that they went through such a boiling water pot.

Nothing was broken, and Sun Microsystems Team New Zealand caught up the other boats going as fast as possible on reaching. They’ve used both genoa and spinnaker : «  Jeremy (Lomas) and Chris ( Ward ) did a really good job trimming and changing sails, as usual. It was hard work. » They stayed pretty closed to « Ville de Genève » (1rst on this leg ) all the night but in the morning they had such reaching conditions that the Suiss boat could use a very flat head spinnaker that gave them a 10 minutes advantage at the arrival.

10th of July grading after Offshore race from Brest to Pornichet

1st Kateie 76  658.75
2nd Sun Microsystems/TNZ 84  647.75
3rd  MARSEILLE 2600/RFO 72  631.75
4th REGION ILE DE France 78  613.75
5th KIA AUTOMOBILES 80  601.75


We are in the middle of the Tour process and Team New Zealand crewchose to sail in a conservative way today. As Richard Dodson explainsit « our position implies that we take care of our ranking and control our competitors. We took the necessary risks at the start of the Tour. Today it was the time to get points and we did it. They display their satisfaction as far as today’ s regattas happened just the way they wanted and that that Kateie the leader of the Tour is behind them.

« We managed to take a good start on the first leg and we negociated the shifts of wind in a nice way that made us back up from the 6th tothe 2nd place. We were passing the other boats little by little. On the second leg we were looking really good. » Richard Dodson and the others members of the crew are quite relax, looking like persons that finished a task doing a good job.

Another explanation comes from Anna who is taking care of all the logistics on the Tour : « on this leg they got time to rest and prepare everything. Until know the legs went one after another, it was infernal and the guys did not found any time for themselves. They were stressed and exhausted. »

Tomorrow morning the crew will sail for fun on a promotion leg just before starting for a 100 miles offshore race from Pornichet to La Rochelle.

The ranking in the five first places is quite tightened and Sun Micorsystems / Team New Zealand got closer ( in points ) to Kateie today. Half of the course is done and the skippers of the boats consider that the tougher is behind.

We will see what happen with the new shifts in the crew of TNZ : Hamish Pepper is coming back from Sweden match race competition followed by Brad Butterworth and Tom Shnackenberg in a few days.


Before comittee decisions on protests

1st Kateie 74  734.75
2nd Sun Microsystems/TNZ 79  726.75
3rd  MARSEILLE 2600/RFO 74  707.75
4th REGION ILE DE France 61  676.75
5th KIA AUTOMOBILES 73  664.5


Hamish Pepper and Brad Butterworth were pretty happy aboud the race they have run overnight with a 6 to 8 knots wind blowing North / North East.

The main part of the leg has been raced with the spinnaker thatrepresents good sailing conditions on a MUMM 30. Brad Butterworth who is coming for the second time on the Tour declares that they sailed well, even if the wind became light in the morning. His words when he compares the JOD 35 with the MUMM 30, are that the last one is « much bitter ».

They were 5th in the morning but tricky wind conditions caught them up as they crossed the bridge of the Ile de Ré. They undercame a shutdown and the boats came back from behind. Then they hit pressure and started again, but they were standing apart from the fleet on a wrong course and had to jibe to get back in the leading group.

They finished 8th on this leg and preserve their 2nd place on the general ranking. They are only 3.5 points behind Kateie.

Tomorrow they will run a leeward/winward race with shifts in the crew: H. Pepper and Brad Butterwarth stay on the boat with Tony Rae, Jame Dagg (who was also running the long race) Jeremy Scantlebury and Dean Phipps.

On the 15th of July the boats will be trucked till St Cyprien in the French Riviera to continue the run for the Tour on the 17th of July


1st Kateie 60  792.75
2nd Sun Microsystems/TNZ 52.5  779.25
3rd  MARSEILLE 2600/RFO 57  762.75
4th REGION ILE DE France 67.5  742.25
5th KIA AUTOMOBILES 45  711.75

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