Manouch Mochayedi Leads RIO to Victory

The race started at 10am Friday morning outside the Royal Akarana Yacht Club in a light nor-wester and warm conditions.

manouch moshayedi
Manouch Moshayedi

Owner Manouch Moshayedi assembled a cracking team of American sailors and a few Kiwi ring-ins to fill some spots. Most notably, 2 times America’s Cup winner Peter Isler (USA) was on board as Navigator with local boy Mike ‘Moose’ Sanderson (NZL) as tactician.

LSD was asked to be on board for the race to capture the action and it was Buoy who was lucky enough to get the ride. Daz was already on Beau Geste and Lissa was the eye in the sky buzzing the fleet with Phil Hart in his Ultralite.


Rio had a ‘sticky’ start to say the least ending up in an altercation with the RAYC Rear Commodore Sally Garrett on board Expedition Coppelia. But after some quick work and calm words by both crews, both boats were out of the blocks and away.

It did not take long for the 3 big boats to stretch their legs. Along side Rio100 on the race track were Karl Kwok’s ‘Beau Geste’ (Botin 80 – Gavin Brady was in charge in Karl’s absence) and RAYC member Jim Delagat’s ‘Giacomo’ (VO70). Both of whom would provide an excellent gauge on performance and competition across the 230nm course.


With the big A1 up and set around Rangitoto Light, Rio began to make use of her waterline length. It did not take long before Rio had the (monhull) lead and extended all the way to Cuvier Island chasing the only multihull in the fleet – Team Vodafone Sailing (ORMA 60) who were looking a little sticky in the light conditions.

Rounding Channel Island and heading to Cuvier Island the boat sat comfortably on 17 knots of boat speed with around 12 knots true wind speed. Putting in several gybes to get down to our lay line to make Cuvier, the crew work looked impeccable and it was a privilege to be able to watch professional sailors do what they do best – sail!

Beau Geste had given the Poor Knights quite a large berth to try and avoid the fickle conditions. In turn they ended up a lot closer to the Northland Coast after rounding which let Rio slip through and slink her way out to a comfortable lead by Cape Rodney eventually building more boat speed with more pressure.

The sun popped up and warmed the crews backs as we passed Tiritiri Martangi Island in sight of the city and the finish. Beau Geste still of our stern which was a nice sight for everyone on board.

We crossed the line at 7.36am on Saturday morning and celebrated with a hand shake, a smile and a motor sail back up the harbour.

The boat is now into a few more days of practice while the crew from the states are still in Auckland before a delivery crew sail her across to Sydney for the end of the year must watch race – the ‘Sydney to Hobart’. Good Luck Rio! We will be following you!

RIO makes it 70 for 70th race edition

Built as a 98 footer named Zana for its New Zealand owner in 2003, RIO 100, according to new proprietor Manouch Moshayedi, has been extensively modified and lengthened to 100 feet. She is also sporting a new silver/grey paint job, magnifying an undeniably sleek appearance.

Moshayedi, a computer technology magnate from the USA, who is basing his new acquisition at Newport Beach, California, said: “Brett Bakewell-White did a great job of redesigning his old boat; anyone who sailed on her before would probably not recognise her now.”

The yacht’s water ballast was removed by cutting off the back 50 foot section and a new wider, longer stern has made it six to seven tons lighter than it was as Lahana. It also sports a new, longer boom, a new longer bowsprit and the wheels have been pushed back.

Some other modifications, undertaken by Cooksons in New Zealand and overseen by Moshayedi’s boat captain Keith Kilpatrick, include a lifting keel (14′-19′) so it can be taken into western US marinas, and twin rudders. The refit took nine months with around 20-25 people working on it seven days a week. A new Doyle New Zealand sail wardrobe complements the structural changes.

“Keith moved to Auckland from California for nine months to supervise the build and was involved in every decision that was made about the boat. The success of the project is certainly due mainly to his hard work and dedication and attention to detail,” RIO 100’s owner, Manouch Moshayedi said.

Although his yacht has experienced the Rolex Sydney Hobart seven times under her various names and owners, it will be Moshayedi’s debut. “I have heard about the Sydney Hobart race and I thought since the boat is already Down Under, we might as well give it a try

“I doubt we’ll do well against the other 100’s with canting keels – but I think we will have a great time participating in the race – and of course there is always that one in a million chance that it becomes an 8-15 knot downwind race,” Manouch Moshayedi said of the yacht which finished the race third on line in 2010, ‘11 and ’12; her last Hobart.

Other interesting entries received include the return of New Zealand winemaker, Jim Delegat and his VOR70 Giacomo; Louise, a Custom 72 from the United Kingdom to be skippered by Morgan Morice; and the Farr 47 Ninety Seven, the smallest boat in modern times to claim line honours. It was 1993 and described by yachties as the worst prolonged weather they have ever encountered.

Unusually, five female skippers have already entered: South Australian Shevaun Bruland with Concubine; Sibby Ilzhofer (NSW) with Dare Devil; Danielle Ovenden (NSW) Let’s Go, and Adams/Radford 52 which last went to Hobart in the early 1990’s; and Tasmanians Jacinta Cooper and Laura Roper who will respectively skipper Mistraal and Natelle Two.

In celebration of the race’s 70th edition, the CYCA, in collaboration with the Australian National Maritime Museum, is assembling a static exhibition of photographs, yacht design plans and other material to be on display to the public at the Museum from early November through to the end of February.

The start of the Rolex Sydney Hobart Yacht Race will be broadcast live on the Seven Network throughout Australia and webcast live to a global audience on Yahoo!7.

Entries in the Rolex Sydney Hobart 2014 close on Friday 31 October 2014 at 1700hrs AEDT.

Manouch Moshayedi Victory Over SEC, Insider Trading Trial


Los Angeles – On Friday, June 6, 2014, a trial team led by Paul Hastings partner Thomas A. Zaccaro, and Latham & Watkins partner Patrick E. Gibbs, won a major trial victory on behalf of the founder and former CEO of sTec, Inc., Manouch Moshayedi, in one of the largest insider trading cases ever brought by the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission.  After an eleven-day trial, the Santa Ana federal court jury deliberated for just four hours before delivering a verdict in Mr. Moshayedi’s favor on all of the SEC’s claims.

Started 2012, the complaint alleged that Manouch Moshayedi unjustly enriched himself by $267 million in August 2009 when he and family members sold nine million shares of sTec in a secondary offering while in possession of material, non-public information. The SEC also alleged that Manouch Moshayedi made material misrepresentations and omissions on two separate occasions.  All of the SEC’s claims were rejected by the jury.

(Reuters) – A federal jury on Friday found the former chief executive of sTec Inc not liable for trading on inside information, a major loss for the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission.

Manouch Moshayedi, 55, a co-founder of the computer storage device company, was cleared of insider trading on non-public information about a major customer’s reduced demand for a key product, enabling him and his brother to reap roughly $260 million.

The case in Santa Ana, California, was one of the largest U.S. insider trading enforcement actions to go to trial, and is another setback for the SEC on the heels of an insider trading trial loss a week earlier in New York.

“We are extremely grateful to the jury for their hard work and their focus on the evidence,” Patrick Gibbs, Manouch’s lawyer, said in an email.

According to the SEC, Manouch Moshayedi then learned sTec’s largest customer, EMC Corp, would have less demand than expected for its flagship flash memory drive product and would not renew a $120 million supply contract.

Rather than call off the stock offering, Moshayedi sought to hide the facts via a secret side deal with EMC, while continuing with the sale, the SEC said. Moshayedi, who resigned as sTec’s CEO following the lawsuit, denied any wrongdoing.

Gibbs contended that Manouchehr Moshayedi did not know EMC would have excess inventory, reducing its demand, and that those risks were “clearly disclosed.” The SEC also investigated sTec and Mark Moshayedi, a co-founder of the company, but told both in 2012 it would not bring charges.

Results have been mixed. Last month, jurors in New York cleared Nelson Obus, a fund manager at Wynnefield Capital Inc, and two others of insider trading. Earlier in May, a jury in New York found Texas businessman Samuel Wyly and the estate of his brother, Charles, liable for fraud in connection with undisclosed stock trading in offshore trusts.

The case is Securities and Exchange Commission v. Manouch Moshayedi, U.S. District Court, Central District of California, No. 12-01179.