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Monday, 02 March 2015 00:00

Renaud Laplanche (FRA) and Ryan Breymaier (USA) team up for a brand new ocean racing and record breaking program starting in 2015 with the VPLP-designed 105ft maxi trimaran LENDING CLUB 2.  Renaud and Ryan met for the first time racing on John Sangmeister’s 77ft trimaran ‘Tritium Racing’, renamed “Lending Club” for the 2013 Transpac race to Hawaii where they won the race but missed the course record by just two hours.  On discovering a common vision of sailing and ocean racing, discussions ensued between the two and before departing Hawaii, they both knew they would be back together for the long term.

Throughout 2014 they worked on putting together a program that would make 2015 a record-breaking year.

Ryan was tasked with sourcing a boat and with Renaud’s support and advice they negotiated the charter of 105ft Banque Populaire VII (launched in 2006 as Groupama 3) from its new owner for the 2015 summer season.  Since 2010 the maxi trimaran has been raced in a solo-sailing configuration including a shorter rig and smaller sails. Renaud and Ryan agreed immediately that the taller rig should be reinstalled and presently the technical team is working with designers VPLP to bring the boat back to its big rig/full power mode.

Lending Club 2 is due to be launched in Lorient, France in less than two weeks when the team will commence training. While named “Lending Club 2”, the program is fully funded by Renaud personally.

Renaud and Ryan will race as co-skippers and helmsmen and have selected an international crew comprising of highly experienced French talent such as Jean-Baptiste Le Vaillant and Roland Jourdain as well as rising star USA sailors Jan Majer and Skip MacCormack and German navigator Boris Herrmann. Dutch Wouter Verbraak will be shore side weather routing advisor.

The 2015 program includes a series of World Speed Sailing Record attempts taking the team to the UK, France and to both the East and West coasts of the USA including Newport, New York and San Francisco.

Updates on Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/LendingClubSailing

Renaud Laplanche:
Renaud grew up in the South of France and sailed competitively from a young age. He won 2 French National championships in 1988 and 1990. Instead of starting preparation for the 1992 Barcelona Olympics, Renaud decided to focus on his studies and pursue a business career in New York and then San Francisco, founding two highly successful companies, the first acquired by Oracle in 2005 and the second, Lending Club, that he just took public on the New York Stock Exchange in the fourth largest US-based Internet IPO in history. Renaud became an American citizen in 2014.

Ryan Breymaier:
Ryan, an American native, had to wait until college in St Mary’s, MD before discovering sailing. Thanks to the school’s donation program, his first experience was with boats such as Whitbread 80 ‘The Card’. He quickly realized this was to be his vocation and pursued racing positions on offshore programs in the USA and Europe. In 2007 he pierced the tight world of short-handed racing in Brittany, France becoming one of the few Americans to have raced around the world non-stop in the IMOCA class, He is also holder of the WSSRC New York to San Francisco record in 2013 and winner of the New York to Barcelona IMOCA transatlantic in 2014.

Report by Lending Club Sailing.

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Thursday, 22 January 2015 00:00


Chris Rashley has been sailing International Moths since 2011. He has been reigning European champion for the past 4 years and came second at the Moth Worlds in 2014 at Hayling Island, having led right up to the last day. He was integral to the development of the Exocet Moth design, working alongside the designer, Kevin Ellway of Ellway Aero Hydrodynamic Designs and the builder, Simon Maguire of Maguire Boats. Chris is proud to be sponsored by Allen Brothers, Zhik, Marlow Ropes, CTech, Lennon Sails and the Royal London Yacht Club. He enjoys working full time coaching the British Olympic 49er FX Podium Squad.

The Moth Worlds 2015 was held in Sorrento in Australia. We were told this was an idyllic Moth sailing location with winds typically 12-20 knots. It wasn’t quite the nirvana we were promised, but we did have an extremely warm and generous welcome from our hosts, the great people at the Sorrento Sailing Couta Boat Club.

The Moth is widely appreciated as the most demanding high performance dinghy, and the line-up for this Worlds boasted pretty much all the exceptional sailing talent of our generation. It’s tempting to rank it as the most prestigious sailing event ever. We had previous Moth World champions such as Nathan Outteridge, Josh McKnight and Bora Gulari; a huge contingent of America’s Cup sailors including Pete Burling, Dean Barker, Glenn Ashby, Ray Davies, Chris Draper and Kyle Langford; plus Olympic legends like Iain Jensen and Tom Slingsby. No one expected an easy ride and there were bound to be big names who wouldn’t make the top 20.

I always take a really disciplined approach to my sailing though, and I don’t leave things to chance. Working full time means my time on the water is as limited as any other weekend warrior, but I made sure that the training I had done was really effective. I am fully committed to Moth sailing and it’s important to me to do the very best I can for myself and for all the people who back me.

So I left the UK for two weeks of training at the venue over Christmas with my ultimate goal to make the top eight at the Worlds.

It’s the way of things that the best laid plans go awry. Sitting here after the event, I’m astounded that I not only managed to achieve my goal, but I actually finished in fourth place. It’s a fourth I value really highly and, in achieving it, I learnt a lot about myself too.

So what happened? Well, training at the venue before Christmas I knew I was fast – really fast. However, I began to have some serious back problems. I collapsed and ended up in hospital receiving conflicting advice from specialists. There were some dark days before an MRI scan helped diagnose a protruding disk.

I was told a steroidal epidural could help get me back on my feet and might, just might, allow me back in a boat again. This gave me hope I badly needed, but I had to wait until after the holiday period for treatment at Melbourne’s Olympic Park. I was in huge pain and couldn’t sleep. This was not the event preparation I’d had in mind.

Eventually I had the injection on Monday, two days before the Australian Nationals. Within 24 hours I couldn’t feel the pain anymore.

I was advised to do nothing for three days but I knew I owed it to myself, my sponsors and supporters to push harder. So I discounted doing the Nationals but took a couple of gentle sails on Wednesday and Thursday. My back was painful and I knew I would have to compromise my technique, but participating in the Worlds looked more realistic.

The World’s practice race took place on the Friday. Unlike the other races where the fleet splits into two starts, for this one all competitors would line up together. There was a nice 16-18 knots blowing. I tried hiking but quickly realised the pain was too much and settled for just sitting on the side. It wasn’t fast, but racing was possible.

Despite doubting I’d be competitive, I found myself in second place. When Scott Babbage bailed out of the win for superstitious reasons, I was happy to cross the line first - I really felt I couldn’t possibly have any more bad luck. I was pleased to take the accolade of winning the biggest Moth race ever and was stoked just to be on the race course. I went to bed on Friday night confident of beginning the Worlds on Saturday morning.

Saturday dawned a nice sub 10 knots day. Despite constant pain, the conditions were easier on my body, and I bagged some solid results: 3, 3, and 7.

The second day, Sunday, was windy and I felt nervous about hiking. But out on the start line I thought, “Hey, this is just like Stokes Bay – I love this stuff. Play it safe, get counters, a little hiking off the start line. I can do this.”

To be honest, I just felt privileged to be on the water and not be stuck in bed. It was a major achievement. I wanted to live in the moment and enjoy being able to sail. Knowing my back might give up and I might not be able to finish the event, I decided just to aim for the Gold fleet.

I started with small ambitions but my confidence grew. I can’t believe I pulled off a win in the second race which gave me a 4, 1, 4 and 4. I came off water feeling tight, sore and with a ripped shoulder muscle, but I was confident. I had more than made Gold fleet, I was lying 5th. It was a good day.

Monday continued the good vibes for me. With just one light wind race sailed, it was stressful but not physically tough. I took home an 8th.

Afterwards, there was some discontent in the boat park regarding the conditions in which the race was run. I don’t get into that stuff though. The RO can only put on racing when he’s happy to. All you can do is follow the instructions you get and not try to second guess the RO or the weather. Some high profile names launched just four minutes before the start – a schoolboy error in anyone’s book. I was happy simply to have a gentle day.

The next day, Tuesday, was tougher. It was windy, raining like I’d never seen before and 11 degrees. We were postponed and my back was seizing up in the cold. I spent the day doing exercises in the shower to keep warm. We were sent out at 6pm. It was really rough and I’d already been round the forestay once before they finally called off any racing.

The forecast for the next day was dreadful and the RO confirmed it would remain as a lay day. I was able to relax a bit and, for the first time in weeks, I got 5-6 hours of sleep. It was great.

After unwinding on Wednesday, my mind set shifted from being happy just to sail, to really believing I could get a decent result. I wanted top 8 positions from Thursday – an ambitious goal in the shifty 12-28 knots. However I achieved 6, 8, 3 and 5. With the benefit of hindsight, I wish I’d pushed harder. I felt I’d lost touch with the podium - Pete, Nathan and Josh were really consistent.

Yet I felt comfortably destined for the top six. With the pressure off, I slept well again. We had four more races scheduled. I could give it my all in the first two, discarding the rest if necessary.

The final day was breezy and choppy – enough to keep the Silver fleet ashore all day. But I went out to win the first race, ignore the pain and not worry about anything else. And I did win it, and I can’t tell you how good it felt.

We were sent in while the RO assessed the conditions. It was howling. At 3pm they ran a final race. I’m pretty sure it was the windiest I have ever raced the Moth in. There was spray at head height flying over the committee boat. However, I came away with a respectable third to Pete’s win and Nathan’s second.

So there I was with a healthy fourth place overall and I was a bit overcome really. I’d got through the event – something I’d thought impossible at times. I was massively relieved. In that calibre fleet, I would have been delighted with fourth even without an injury, so I’m really happy.

The best news is that I know now that I’m mentally tougher and more committed than I realised. I know I will always deliver my very best performance regardless of the situation. I’m determined to win the Worlds one day. Undoubtedly this was Pete Burling’s year though – he was in a league of his own and absolutely deserves the World Championship title.


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Tuesday, 20 January 2015 00:00


2015-16 Series

Marlow Ropes, are very happy to officially confirm we will be continuing our long-term race partnership on board once again ahead of the 2015-16 series.

As the Clipper Race’s official rope supplier, Marlow Ropes will once again provide each of the fleet’s twelve Clipper 70 yachts with over 40,000 metres of high quality ropes which are made of modern, light weight fibres such as Dyneema. Crew will be provided with rope care and splicing advice by Marlow experts during training to help them get maximum lifespan and efficiency out of the running rigging during their eleven month challenge.

Paul Honess, Leisure Marine Sales Director for Marlow Ropes Ltd, said: “Marlow is very proud to continue our association with the Clipper Round the World Yacht Race for the seventh consecutive race series. It was clear to see from the last edition of the race that the new Clipper 70 is a big step up from the Clipper 68s with regards to power and performance. “We continue to use mostly standard products on most of the running rigging but have now upgraded some cover composition for a few of the lines, this is to increase the longevity and performance in a few key applications ready for the next edition of the race.

“The great thing about working with the Clipper fleet is that we can trial and test our products and look at ways to increase performance and longevity of the lines and get great feedback which we can then use to develop our Cruiser/ Racer range of products.”

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Tuesday, 20 January 2015 00:00



Up and coming 49er sailors Rory and Neil Hunter are the latest recipients of the Marlow Ropes Award, which will give the Scottish brothers free rope for a year after recently being selected to join the British Sailing Team Podium Potential Squad.

The Marlow Ropes Award was introduced in 2002 with the aim of rewarding Britain’s most promising young sailors for their determination, focus and talent.

The sailing siblings from Lamlash on the Isle of Arran, Scotland, have spent the last three months training alongside the Podium Potential Squad and given their 49er potential and recent performances the brothers earned selection to the British Team in January.

“We were both absolutely delighted to have won the Marlow Ropes Award only days after our selection for the Podium Potential Squad,” said 17-year-old helm Rory.

“We feel we have won the award from the results we have gained over the past season and from displaying a high amount of dedication and commitment during our time training alongside the Podium Potential Squad.

“The award will be a huge benefit to our campaign over the next season as we will be able to fit our boat out with top quality rope. In the 49er class, halyards and control lines come under high loads in the windier conditions, making top quality rope absolutely key to ensure a successful day racing with no breakages.”

Over the past 18 months the duo have recorded some impressive results including the 49er National Championship title in August, finishing second overall at the RYA National Ranking Series in November and their season highlight coming at the ISAF Santander World Championships where they posted 36th overall and 11th in the Silver fleet.

The 19-year-old Neil added: “We feel that the key ingredient to our results over the past year has been mainly a lot of hard work!  We’ve spent a lot of time sailing and just learning as much as possible.  The learning curve is so steep, especially in a class like the 49er.”

“Over the next 12 months our main goal is a top five at the Youth Worlds, that’s our target event this year. We’ve got a lot of sailing planned between now and then, with events throughout Europe and we’re going to Miami later this week. The Marlow award entitles the brothers to free Marlow rope for a year, which Rory says will be invaluable as they prepare for their inaugural season as British Sailing Team members.

“The award will help us massively. In a high performance boat like a 49er having the best kit is crucial for us to achieve our goals. With Marlow Ropes we can be sure that we are using the best rope available so it’s just one less thing for us to worry about!  It will be a massive boost to our campaign.”

Barrie Edgington, British Sailing Team Podium Potential Squad Manager, commented: “Rory and Neil are rare examples of sailors who have taken a slightly more independent tack to campaigning and making the case for support from the World Class Programme. “In doing so their professional approach combined with achieving measurable international and national results has got them noticed and rewarded both by officially joining the British Sailing Team and being nominated for the prestigious Marlow Ropes Award. - “If they keep up the level of commitment to their 49er sailing and goals, I am sure they will continue to excel and achieve higher things.”

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Tuesday, 20 January 2015 00:00


Marlow were proud to be a part of the Yachts & Yachting Awards 2015 and would like to send Huge congratulations to winner of The Marlow Ropes Youth Sailor of the Year Award - Vita Heathcote!!



Presented BY PETER LILLINGSTON at the 2015 Yachts and Yachting Magazine Awards at London Boat Show 2015.

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