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Wild Oats XI Makes It Seven
Photo by Andrea Francolini, www.afrancolini.com. Click on image for photo gallery.
Mark Richards skippered Bob Oatley's Wild Oats XI to her seventh line honours victory in the Rolex Sydney Hobart Yacht Race at 19.07.27hrs AEDT this evening, and in doing so, equalled the seven line honours record set by the yacht first known as Morna, which took honours from 1946 to 1948 and then as Kurrewa IV in 1954, '56, '57 and '60.
As a 98-footer, Wild Oats XI scored the treble of line honours, overall win and race record in 2005, the year winemaker Bob Oatley launched her. She went on to take line honours again in 2006, 2007, 2008 and in 2010 and 2012 as a 100-footer, when she scored the treble again, breaking her own race record in the time of 1 day 18 hours, 23 minutes and 12 seconds.
This time, the super maxi finished in 2 days 6 hours 7 minutes and 27 seconds, Richards and his mostly long term crew (in fact seven from the 2005 crew are aboard) outside their record by more than 11 hours. They faced the toughest opposition of their Rolex Sydney Hobart career, having to take on seven boats capable of beating them, in particular, Anthony Bell's Perpetual LOYAL, touted as the fastest super maxi in the world, along with Syd Fischer's Ragamuffin 100, which Bell sailed as Investec LOYAL to line honours victory over Wild Oats XI in 2011.
Others that challenged them from the beginning included the two VOR 70s; Jim Delegat's Giacomo from New Zealand and Peter Harburg's Black Jack from Queensland, along with Karl Kwok's much talked about brand new 80ft Beau Geste from Hong Kong and Grant Wharington's 100ft Wild Thing from Queensland. -- Di Pearson
* Victoire announced overall winner
Darryl Hodgkinson's 50-foot Cookson/Farr design yacht Victoire is the overall winner of the 69th Rolex Sydney Hobart Yacht Race.
The Cruising Yacht Club of Australia (CYCA) named her the winner this morning of the Tattersall's Cup after the only remaining yacht at sea that could beat her, Roger Hickman's Wild Rose ran out of time this morning, still 26 miles from the finish at 7.00am.
However, the CYCA had to run the numbers and be very sure before announcing its member Darryl Hodgkinson and his Victoire had been successful,
Victoire crossed the finish line at 0800 yesterday and became the boat to beat. As time ticked, it came down to Hickman and his Wild Rose, and it was a matter of waiting to see whether he could make enough ground to win the race, but, with the south-westerly conditions, was unable capitalise.
Due to slow going, Wild Rose is not expected to finish until lunchtime today.
It means that Hodgkinson has won at his first attempt in the 50-foot fibreglass canting keeled boat he bought from her previous British owner, Chris Bull. Bull also sailed the yacht with great success, having finished second overall in the 2010 Rolex Sydney Hobart and fourth in 2011 and again last year.
* Derry-Londonderry-Doire crossed the finish line into Hobart, Tasmania at 06:06 local time (19:06 UTC 29th December) to claim a class win in the famous Australian yachting classic, The Rolex Sydney Hobart Yacht Race (RSHYR) and its first podium position of the Clipper Round the World Yacht Race.
The Northern Irish entry was ahead of second placed GREAT Britain which finished at 09:11:43 (22:11UTC) and third-placed Old Pulteney who finished at 09:55 (22:55 UTC) in the classic Australian offshore race.
Derry-Londonderry-Doire was victorious in a closely fought 628-mile sprint by the 12-strong Clipper Race fleet from Sydney which saw gusting winds in excess of 50 knots and five metre waves.
Derry-Londonderry-Doire finished in 29th position for overall Line Honours in the RSHYR out of a total starting fleet of 94 boats, with final handicap positions to be announced on Tuesday. The team also wins Race 6 of the Clipper Race and the Clipper 70 One Design class that was created by the RSHYR organisers, the Cruising Yacht Club of Australia (CYCA).
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Countdown To Key West
Key West, Florida, USA: Racing teams from across the country and around the world are getting ready to compete in the waters off America's southernmost city during the 27th annual Key West Race Week, scheduled Sunday through Friday, Jan. 19-24.
All three divisions will feature well prepared programs gathering to enjoy great competition and renowned Key West sailing conditions, as they pursue coveted podium finishes.
The popular J/70 class is coming off a very successful Key West debut with the fleet topping 60 boats for their 2014 Midwinter Championship. Both the J/70 Open and Corinthian winners will be recognized with daily and series trophies.
Big boat racing will again be a meaningful part of the 2014 story. Three 72 footers will test each other in the 'Mini Maxi' IRC class. 2013 winner George Sakellaris' Shockwave and Hap Fauth's Bella Mente will mix it up with Alex Schaerer's 2013 Rolex Capri Sailing Week champion Caol Ila R.
The 52 Class begins their second US Super Series in Key West. Alberto Roemmers and team Azzurra will be back to defend their 2013 title against five other high-powered programs.
The J/80s are the comeback class of the year with 14 boats currently on the scratch sheet.
Handicap racing will also come in the form of a High Performance (HPR), IRC3, and two PHRF classes. For the PHRF racing, three number handicaps will be in play for three established wind ranges - a first in Key West - which is expected to produce even closer racing.
* The build up for next Summer's Commodore's Cup event starts next month in Florida. Irish Interest in Key West features Cork Olympic sailor Peter O'Leary at the helm of the New York based Ker 40 Catapult, a boat tipped as one of three to form the Irish Commodore's Cup team next July on the Solent.
Ireland is aiming to field a team at the Commodore's Cup next July and although the three boat team has yet to be officially announced it is expected the American Ker design will be flying the Irish Tricolour on the Solent.
The 2012 built yacht will also feature Irish sailor Tommy Murphy on board with the American sailors, according to the Catapult crew entry.
Afloat magazine: afloat.ie
Jolie Brise, the Bermuda Race, the RORC and the Fastnet
The experience of owner of Jolie Brise in the Bermuda Race of 1924, sailed then from New London CT, was the inspiration for establishment of the RORC and the now classic Fastnet Race. Jolie Brise came across the Atlantic to sail the race and took home the idea for similar ocean racing in England. As British Journalist Barry Pickthall wrote in his piece - The Bermuda Race: Rich Heritage of this 635 Mile Blue Water Classic: "The 1924 [Bermuda] race attracted the challenge from two English yachts Northern Light and Jolie Brise. Their owners, Weston Martyr and George Martin so enjoyed the event that they returned home later that summer determined to set up an Ocean Racing Club in London (now known as the Royal Ocean Racing Club) and to host an ocean race on the other side of the Atlantic - the 605 mile Fastnet, which was run for the first time in 1925."
The 1932 skipper of Jolie Brise was later inducted into The Bermuda Race Roll of Honour which recognizes and honors extraordinary achievement in or concerning the Newport Bermuda Race and its predecessor races. The honoree was Robert Somerset. He and his Jolie Brise crew for the 1932 race saw a flare in the night and returned three miles to eventually rescue ten of the eleven sailors from the burning vessel Adriana.
According the Royal Bermuda Yacht Club's 150th anniversary history book "Under the Calabash Tree", Clarence Kozlay who stayed at the helm to control the burning Adriana during the rescue was the sole fatality. After his ten crew mates had leapt safely to the heaving deck of the Jolie Brise, the two boats drifted apart. Kozlay jumped, but fell short into the sea between the vessels and was lost... "swept away into the darkness." -- Talbot Wilson
First Day Tussle
An opening day of tight and intense competition offered a glimpse of things to come this week as 79 of the world's best young sailors took to the race course at Mussanah in Oman for the start of the 2013 Laser Radial Youth World Championships.
Four races produced four different winners in conditions that were predominantly light airs and shifty, favouring the featherweight sailors and both Karyna Manuel from Britain who tops the girls leaderboard and Italy's Gianfranco Planchestainer who is heading the boys group used their slight frames to best advantage to gain an edge.
Manuel, who has travelled to Oman independently of the RYA after she failed to qualify for the Worlds, has been training in Mussanah for two weeks and grown accustomed to the breeze, earning her a second place in the first race followed by an outright win in the second.
Racing at the 2013 Laser Radial Youth World Championships continues through to Friday with two races scheduled each day.
CMRC Announces 2014 Event Schedule
Chicago Match Race Center (CMRC) is pleased to announce its 2014 schedule of events that offer opportunities for all levels of match racers. For the sixth year, CMRC will provide world-class match racing to the local and international communities.
Based in Chicago's Belmont Harbor, CMRC has eight professionally-maintained and equally-matched TOM 28 keelboats, umpire and other support boats, including CMRC's signature 70-foot custom houseboat that provides full support both in the harbor and out on the racecourse.
CMRC's programs have played an important role in the growth and development of match racing for both US and international teams. The quality of talent development at CMRC can be best exemplified by its past Sailing Director, Taylor Canfield and his Team US One, who have just ascended to the top of the Alpari World Match Racing Tour.
CMRC will carry on this tradition of excellence in 2014 by featuring an ISAF Grade 1, 2 or 3 regatta every month.
17-18: Grade 3 - Spring Invitational
13-15: Grade 2 - Chicago Match Cup Qualifier
24-27: North U Youth Clinic & Regatta coached by Dave Perry
24-25: Grade 3 - Summer Invitational A
26-27: Grade 3 - Summer Invitational B
15-17: Grade 2 - Chicago Grand Slam
11-14: Chicago Match Cup
9-10: Grade 3 - Autumn Invitational A
11-12: Grade 3 - Autumn Invitational B
Grafham Grand Prix
Just to take a break from all that Aussie testosterone, here are the results of the Grafham Grand Prix held over the weekend. Comprising of two races for each class, spread over three courses.
On course A - Musto Skiffs took the first three places in the Asymmetric Monohulls, led by Dave Psston who won both races. Winner of the Fast Cats was Phil Neal in an A-Class.
On Course B - Winner of the Fast non-Asymmetric Monohulls were Andy Davis and Norman Byrd in a 505. In the Medium Cats winner was Richard Philpott in a Sprint 15.
On Course C - It was Laser time in the Slow non-Asymmetric Monohulls with Lasers taking the first five places. Winner was Jack Wetherell. And in the Slow Cats winner was Val Millward in a Challenger. -- Gerald New, Sailweb
Full results: www.grafham.org
Qatar Optimist Cup
The 2nd day of Qatar Optimist Cup 2013 again witnessed the light winds. However 2 races were completed. The leaders of first day maintained their positions. Master Rasim Yasar from Turkey is leading followed by Marsha Shahrin of Singapore & Nicolas Rolaz of Switzerland.
With 4 races scheduled, the race committee kicked off race 1 as early as they could today, and set a more even start line.
Unfortunately the wind did not last long, and after all the boats crossed the finish line it died completely. That was the bad news. The good news was that it made some time for swimming and enjoying the warm weather.
After long postponement the breeze finally filled in and race 3 was completed.
Video highlights: youtu.be/wOYQzTxdunY
Irish Shark Species Nearing Extinction
It is thought there are fewer than a dozen angel sharks left in our waters after decades of netting have all but wiped out the once plentiful creature.
Leading marine expert Kevin Flannery said there have only been three sightings of the shark this year.
"We believe we are down to the last dozen or so but at this point they could even be wiped out.
"It's crazy. It just can't be allowed to happen. It has been around for 4m years. We're wiping out 4m years of one of our prehistoric animals."
Mr Flannery, the director of Dingle Ocean World, said there was a real possibility the bottom- feeding predator could completely die out in this country due to years of being caught in nets set at the bottom of the ocean to catch crayfish and turbot.
It is illegal to catch angel sharks but Mr Flannery said this was difficult to enforce. He said he believed the shark could be saved if Marine Minister Simon Coveney rewarded fisherman for releasing those caught in their nets. -- Lynne Kelleher in the Irish Examiner
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