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One Day To Go
Photo by Nico Martinez, www.martinezstudio.es. Click on image for photo gallery.

Key West Race Week Quantum Key West 2014 got off to an atypically slow start due to difficult conditions the first couple days, but reliably strong winds off the Conch Republic certainly delivered on Wednesday and Thursday. Organizers with Premiere Racing have crammed six races into the last two days and just like that all three divisions are on the threshold of reaching the regatta goal of 10 for the week.

Northerly winds ranging from 12 to 16 knots allowed for another three-race day on all courses.

Hap Fauth's Bella Mente has pretty much secured overall victory in IRC 1 class on Thursday. The Minneapolis resident has steered his Judel-Vrolijk to first place in five of nine races in totaling 15 points, three better than runner-up Caol Ila R, a 69-footer owned by Alex Schaerer. With only one race scheduled on Division 1 for Friday, Bella Mente needs only to complete the course in order to win the regatta.

Spookie, the Carkeek 40 skippered by North Sails pro Steve Benjamin, has clinched victory in the High Performance Class. Heidi Benjamin is calling tactics for her husband, who has won five races and placed second or third in the other four in totaling 15 points.

IRC 3, an extremely competitive 10-boat class with a diverse group of designs, is still up for grabs. Arethusa, a Swan 42 skippered by Phil Lotz, maintained the lead for a second straight day by placing second in the last two races on Thursday. Catapult, a Ker 40 owned by Marc Glimcher of New York, is seven points behind in second. Tonnere de Breskens 3, a Ker 46 campaigned by Peter Vroon of The Netherlands, is just one point behind Catapult.

Dave Brennan, principal race officer on Division 2, is hoping to complete two races on Friday. That may not be possible with afternoon winds expected to exceed 20 knots, which might be too much for the J/70s and Melges 24s on the course.

Standings after Four Days - Top Three in Class

Mini Maxi Class (IRC 1) (IRC - 3 Boats)
1. Bella Mente, Hap Fauth , USA, 15
2. Caol Ila R, Alex Schaerer , USA, 18
3. Shockwave, George Sakellaris , USA, 24

52 Class (IRC 2) (IRC - 6 Boats)
1. Quantum Racing, Doug DeVos , USA, 20
2. Ran, Niklas Zennstrom , UK, 23
3. AZZURRA, Pablo A. Roemmers , ARG, 29.5

52 Class (Super Series) (One Design - 6 Boats)
1. Quantum Racing (SS), Doug DeVos , USA, 20
2. Ran (SS), Niklas Zennstrom , UK, 24
3. AZZURRA (SS), Pablo A. Roemmers , ARG, 28

High Performance Class (HPR - 4 Boats)
1. SPOOKIE, Steve & Heidi Benjamin , USA, 15
2. Riot, Marc Ewing , USA, 21
3. Decision, Stephen Murray , USA, 23

IRC 3 (IRC - 10 Boats)
1. Arethusa, Phil Lotz , USA, 26
2. Catapult, Marc Glimcher , USA, 33
3. Tonnerre de Breskens 3, Peter Vroon , NED, 34

Melges 32 (One Design - 7 Boats)
1. Delta, Dalton DeVos , USA, 13
2. Hedgehog, Alec Cutler , BER, 14
3. Helly Hansen Inga from Sweden, Richard Goransson , SWE, 27

Melges 24 (One Design - 6 Boats)
1. Little Wing, Nicola Ardito , ITA, 7
2. Tramp, Thomas Ritter , USA, 18
3. Zingara, Richard Reid , CAN, 25

J 70 (One Design - 60 Boats)
1. Helly Hansen, Tim Healy , USA, 15
2. Savasana, Brian Keane , USA, 42
3. Boats.com, Ian Atkins , GBR, 46

PHRF 1 (PHRF_ToT - 8 Boats)
1. Spaceman Spiff, Rob and Ryan Ruhlman , USA, 28.5
2. Fireball, Team Fireball , USA, 30
3. Teamwork, Robin Team , USA, 31

PHRF 2 (PHRF_ToT - 7 Boats)
1. Rush, Bill Sweetser , USA, 15
2. Heat Wave, Gary Weisberg , USA, 28
3. Rhumb Punch, John and Linda Edwards , USA, 29

J 80 (One Design - 12 Boats)
1. Vayu2, Ron Buzil , USA, 12
2. Rumor, John Storck, Jr , USA, 35
3. Blue Jay, Bob & Cheryl Hayward , USA, 40

premiere-racing.com

NYYC Returns To Defend Cumberland Cup
New York Yacht Club will return to defend their title in the 2014 edition of the RTYC Cumberland Cup

One place yet remains in the Royal Thames Yacht Club's prestigious International inter-club team racing challenge for the Cumberland Cup, being raced in London 30th April - 4th May this year. The biennial Cumberland Cup, first held in 2008, is the only major international yacht racing event held in the UK capital and involves two-boat team racing in the club's fleet of J/80s, stationed during the winter months on the expansive Queen Mary reservoir, hard by Heathrow airport.

The impressive trophy itself dates from 1912 and is a replica of an earlier cup of the same name dating from 1781 in the Club's possession, one of a series of such cups donated by the Duke of Cumberland, the Club's Royal Patron. The replica was commissioned in 1912 by members as a gift for the German Kaiser who had admired the original. It surfaced on the market in London at the beginning of the present century and was acquired for the Club by an anonymous syndicate of members.

Current holders of the Cup are New York Yacht Club, who will return in order to defend their title against the challengers who include, Southern Yacht Club (New Orleans), Yacht Club Costa Smeralda, Eastern Yacht Club of Marblehead, Royal Perth Yacht Club and of course the hosts themselves.

www.royalthames.com/Racing/Cumberland-Cup.aspx

Ichi Ban Leads Off Melbourne To Passage Race Start
The three-month old high-tech yacht Ichi Ban has stamped its authority early on the 171st Festival of Sails with a lead in the Melbourne to Geelong passage race that may be small in miles but could prove huge for the confidence of the crew.

Matt Allen's 60-footer led the 230 strong fleet around the first mark on Port Phillip in the 34 nautical mile race, but the favourite wasn't far ahead of her monohull counterpart, Tony Kirby's Patrice, and their multihull rivals for first to reach Geelong, Morticia and Box Office.

It took Ichi Ban just 30 minutes to reach the turning mark at Sandringham, while in her wake crews aboard the smaller yachts were stacked to leeward in their wet-weather gear slogging it out in the rain and a sloppy six to eight knot sou'easterly breeze.

Multihull favourite Malice was forced to duck and weave back through the starting fleet after a shocker start. The Queensland Nacra 36 owned by Mal Richardson not only jumped the gun, but failed to cross the start line correctly a second time forcing them to make a third and this time successful attempt.

Principal Race Officer Denis Thompson said it was a "gloomy but spectacular start".

"To see a mass of yachts like that is nothing short of a spectacle," he said. "What's more is we've got this contest at the front of the pack that's hard to pick.

The first yachts are expected to cross the finish line at Geelong at about 1400 AEDT, well outside record time, and the tail-enders must finish before sunset. A line honours trophy will be awarded for the first monohull and first multihull. -- Danielle McKay

http://festivalofsails.com.au/sailing-regatta/race-documents

Perfect Scorecard For Melges 24 Class Founder
Photo by Teri Dodds. Click on image to enlarge.

Gill Melges 24 Australian Open Nationals First points in the Gill Melges 24 Australian Open Nationals, one of the Festival of Sails' opening events, went to Harry Melges and his Star crew from the USA. Melges, who founded the class in 1993 with his brother Hans and crewman Andy Burdick, began their Australian foray impressively with a perfect scorecard.

International teams had no trouble reading the local breeze on day one of the class' national title on Geelong's Corio Bay. The Americans were first with two bullets, the Swiss second and Japanese team aboard Threebond, skippered by Tetsuya Matsunaga, third.

The best placed Aussie team in fifth overall was Nathan Wilmot and Heath Walters' Melges Asia - Kaito.

Federico Michetti, a five-time Melges 24 world champion, arrived last night to join the rest of the Star crew who are racing a brand new Melges 24 built and shipped to Australia for the nationals and next week's 2014 Gill Melges 24 World Championship.

The Melges 24 Australian Open Nationals is a four-day precursor and a handy form guide - though many of the rated international teams are yet to arrive - for the 2014 Gill Melges 24 World Championship starting next Wednesday 29th January. It's also one of four Australian championships falling under the Royal Geelong Yacht Club's Festival of Sails' umbrella.

festivalofsails.com.au

Inspirational Speaker - Bob Fisher - Mr America's Cup
Bob Fisher Bob Fisher was born to the America's Cup - raised on the foreshore at Brightlingsea UK where the local watermen wore Guernsey jumpers with the names Shamrock and Endeavour emblazoned across their chests. It was from them that he first learned about the Cup.

His own sailing on these East Coast waters led him to international racing around the globe, and a determination to communicate these stories in print, radio and on screen.

Winner of the Fireball and Hornet dinghy world and national championships, the Little America's Cup, and navigator on record breaking challenges across the Atlantic, there is not much that Bob has not experienced first-hand in the world of yachting.

A hugely engaging speaker, he can regale audiences with the dastardly deeds that some have pulled in their efforts to win and defend yachting's 'Holy Grail', speak about racing around the world, as well as motivate the next generation of Olympic champions.

Now back from commentating on the 2013 America's Cup in San Francisco, Bob tells the inside story of how Oracle Team USA recovered from 1:8 down to achieve the greatest come-back in sporting history in defeating Team New Zealand's catamaran 9:8.

Bob Fisher is available to speak at dinners, conferences and corporate events, and is represented by PPL Inspirational Speakers.

Other PPL speakers include round the world sailors Sir Robin Knox-Johnston, Sir Chay Blyth, Dee Caffari MBE, Tony Bullimore and Mike Perham, America's Cup skipper Harold Cudmore, international sailing coach Jim Saltonstall, Atlantic adventurers Tom McClean and Geoff Holt MBE, Captain Williams Wells, powerboat record breaker Dag Pike, and sailing journalists Barry Pickthall and Rob Salvidge.

See www.pplmedia.com/speakers/

Brazilian Government Move To 'Reinsert' Star Keelboat For Rio 2016
The President of Brazil, Dilma Rousseff, has moved to have the Star keelboat reinstated as an Olympic class at the 2016 Olympic Games in Rio de Janeiro.

Brazilian ambassadors from around the world are seeking support from nations to help them reinsert the oldest and most traditional class back in to the Games in three years time.

The legendary class lost its status after a controversial decision by the world body of sailing, ISAF in 2011. It was thought that the venerable 100-year-old design sailed its last Olympic regatta at London 2012 but now there is new hope for the much loved craft.

In a letter from the Embassy of Brazil, date January 16th and seen by Afloat.ie, the Brazilian Government says it firmly endorses the request noting that out of the 18 sailing medals Brazil has won, six were in the Star class.

The embassy says the new ISAF president Carlos Croce, has already 'requested to the International Olympic Committee (IOC) the inclusion of an 11th sailing class in the next games to accomodate the Star'.

Afloat magazine: afloat.ie

Artemis Racing Secures First Phase Of Designers For AC35
Artemis Racing has signed designers Michel Kermarec and Thiha "Winnie" Win, who will join returning designers Adam May and Nico Rousselon, as the team prepares a possible AC35 bid.

Michel brings a wealth of experience to Artemis Racing, having served as a key member of Oracle Team USA's design team during their AC33 and AC34 victories. He specializes in performance prediction and appendage design, and holds a PhD in hydrodynamics. Michel is a talented sailor, and represented France in the Soling class at the 1988 Olympics in Seoul.

Winnie has been involved in many high-profile advanced engineering projects all over the world in both marine and non-marine industries. After a very successful period in motor sport in the early 2000s, he turned his attention to America's Cup yacht design in AC32, with Luna Rossa Challenge. Winnie was a key member of BMW Oracle Racing's design team during their victorious AC33, and was part of Emirates Team New Zealand's successful AC34.

Nico, a specialist in aerodynamics, graduated from Southampton Institute in 2004 with a BEng in Yacht and Powercraft Design, before specializing in Computational Fluid Dynamics with an MSc at Southampton University. In 2007, he integrated the Cape Horn Engineering (then CFD branch of Juan Yacht Design) to start the aero side of the company. His skills were further developed through two Volvo Ocean Race wins (Ericsson4 and Groupama).

Adam competed for Great Britain at the Sydney Olympics in the Tornado class, and is an aeronautical engineer by trade, having worked for Airbus UK in their wind tunnel and design office. He was a technical coach for TeamOrigin and Skandia TeamGBR, working closely with Iain Percy and Andrew Simpson during their successful 2008 and 2012 Olympic campaigns. Adam was part of the AC32 Victory Challenge team, before joining Artemis Racing for AC34.

www.ArtemisRacing.com

LV TCC
Several GBR events have already signed up to accept Spinlock IRC Limited Validity TCCs. If your Club is running an event and want to accept entries from boats with an LV TCC (or you think they should!) an event application form can be found at www.rorcrating.com/lv-tcc as well as all the information you need either as an owner or club secretary.

rorcrating.com

Improved Multihull Rating For The 34th St.Maarten Heineken Regatta
Simpson Bay, St.Maarten: An updated and improved rating system will be used for the 34th St.Maarten Heineken Regatta and organizers are hoping this rating system will become the regional norm.

During the last few years, several CSA regatta measurers have worked together to continually improve the rating system for the Multihull classes. Their aim was always to allow for competitive and fair ratings similar to what was available for the Monohull classes. This year, after much hard work by Stuart Knaggs, Alfred Koolen and Paul Miller, that updated rating system is complete and will be implemented for the first time during the 2014 St.Maarten Heineken Regatta.

When asked about the rating system, Stuart Knaggs stated "The original rating system used for the last decade or so was originally based on the formulas established by the Texel Rating Group in the Netherlands. The issue became that since there was nothing official, ratings were not paid for, thus no one was out and about collecting measurements to do the calculations, so ratings were taken from the Texel and later the Multihull Dynamics Databases, adjusted and used in regattas. These ratings had a chance of being very close or sometimes way off, since none of the boats were actually measured, which lead to situations where there were less than satisfactory results in the Mulithull classes."

Due to these results the measurers had been discussing upgrading the system for years and in 2012 Knaggs took it upon himself to invest in a scale to weigh the boats. It was primarily used in a few experiments to start with and in 2013 they managed to partially measure the Gunboat fleet, which led to a much closer rating than in previous years.

All boats measured will receive a Rating Certificate which can be used at any St Maarten/St Martin regatta and, once supported by the Caribbean Sailing Association, at any Caribbean regatta. Complete information regarding the new system, technical data, contact information and rule details can be found on the Multihull rating system website: http://www.multihullratings.com

The event runs from March 6 through March 9.

www.heinekenregatta.com

Letters To The Editor -
Letters are limited to 350 words. No personal attacks are permitted. We do require your name but your email address will not be published without your permission.

* From Alistair Skinner: In support of Sean Langman. I am a mono-hull lead mine sailor through and through but it has not escaped my notice that both the solo and fully crewed round the world records are held by multis. That involved rounding the 5 Great Capes and by definition through some of the roughest and most challenging waters on the planet. These guys hold absolutely nothing back and yet while there have been some less successful, those failures have been down to impact damage and rig failures. Not one of these multis have ended up upside down.

Conversley a notable number of monos have ended up wth the deck pointing at the seabed, most notably - and expensively for Australia - Tony Bullimore (I assume the Cruising Yacht Club of Australia's memory goes back that far) so their argument for exclusion of the multi is that they don't self right does rather appear to be somewhat spurious and perhaps hiding a differnt reason. Perhaps they don't want the line honours thunder of the super-maxis taken away? C'mon CYCA get 21st Century, even the AC has!

Featured Brokerage
Featured Brokerage Boat 1994 Bashford 41. EUR 85,000. Located in Athens, Greece.

Bashford 41 is one of the small successful cruiser racer series of Bashford Howinson yachts (then known as Sydney Yachts) designed by Murray, Burns and Dovel in 1994.

These yachts dominated the international racing circuit in the mid 90' winning the fastnet race the Sydney Hobart and the Copa del Rey.

Bashford 41 is the ex "AERA" yacht that has won the Rolex Sydney Hobart Race. It is still a very competitive boat and it is set up for cruising too.

Brokerage through Atalanta Marine: www.yachtworld.com/atalanta-group/

Complete listing details and seller contact information at uk.yachtworld.com

The Last Word
People don't read any more. It's a sad state of affairs. Reading's the only thing that allows you to use your imagination. When you watch films it's someone else's vision, isn't it? -- Lemmy Kilmister

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