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Light Wind Specialists Hold Early Advantage In Miami
Little to no breeze created mirror-like conditions on the calm waters of Biscayne Bay Monday morning. This was not ideal for the 580 sailors representing 50 countries, who were raring and ready to go for the start of this six-day international regatta.

This 25th edition of ISAF Sailing World Cup Miami annually attracts top ranked one-design sailors in 10 Olympic and three Paralympic events selected for the 2016 Olympic and Paralympic Games.

Racing was postponed at approximately 9:00 local time due to insufficient wind. This delay pushed back the start times for the morning and early afternoon fleets. At around 12:00, the fleets started their launch from their respective venue sites in an attempt to get in as much racing as possible, despite the still conditions.

Fortunately, racing pick up in the afternoon and all fleets completed races in the consistent light breeze. Wind speeds ranged from 4 to 8 knots for most of the afternoon.

www.sailing.org/worldcup/home.php

Full results: www.sailing.org/worldcup/results/index.php

Melges 24 Worlds
A honking northerly breeze and an outdoor temperature of 40 degrees have meant a subdued start to the Gill Melges 24 World Championship 2014 at Geelong in Victoria, Australia.

A practice race was scheduled for this afternoon, but winds of 28 knots gusting to 35 are well above the class' upper limit. At the skipper's briefing this morning at the host club, the Royal Geelong Yacht Club, all of the 26 teams opted to remain ashore.

Fifteen of the Melges teams considered the best in the world are at Geelong vying for the crown.

Close to half of the starting list of 26 has travelled from far afield - Germany, Italy, Japan, USA, Canada and Switzerland - to join 16 national teams.

Up to 12 races will be conducted over five days and there will be two sets of results published each afternoon, overall results and separate results for the Corinthian Melges 24s who are racing with a full amateur crew.

Harry Melges and his Star crew executed the perfect tune-up to the world title, winning the Gill Melges 24 Australian Open Nationals that wrapped up on Sunday as part of the Festival of Sails' penultimate day. -- Lisa Ratcliff

https://www.facebook.com/Melges24Worlds2014

Woody's 'winning' Formula In Historical 18 Foot Skiff Championship
Photo by Andrea Francolini, www.afrancolini.com. Click on image for photo gallery.

Historial Skiffs John 'Woody' Winning and his crew of six on Aberdare have taken out the Historical 18ft Skiff Australian Championship after a tight tussle with 2012 champion Bob 'Killo' Killick and his Yendys crew throughout the three-race series.

Winning and his crew won the 'Galloping Ghost' trophy, named for the original Aberdare, a champion 18 foot skiff in its time. However, this is the first time its replica has won the Championship, although Winning has won in the past on a different boat.

Aberdare won the first race of the Sydney Harbour event convincingly from Yendys and defending champion, Australia IV (Rob Brown), in a fresh 18-20 knot nor' easter. Yendys repaid the favour in Race 2, with The Mistake (Jeremy Sharp) coming home third in a heavy 25-28 knot southerly which was not for the faint-hearted.

In fact, conditions in both Races 1 and 2 caused capsizes, leaving the crews of these heavy old boats swimming in the Harbour until the rescue boat could re-float them.

The final race came down to the wire, as Aberdare and Yendys swapped the lead several times on a perfect summer day in a pleasant 15 knot breeze. Despite breaking the bobstay mid-race, Winning found the formula to combat multiple attacks from Killick to beat him over the line by a mere second.

The current fleet of replica 18ft skiffs, known as Historical 18ft skiffs, is made up of boats that represent variations in the design and technology of the various eras of 18ft skiff racing spanning the period from 1906 to 1950.

There is a wide variation in the application of the term "replica" to these boats, and for all sorts of reasons (cost, sourcing of materials, practicality, etc) there is a variety of equipment, rigs and construction methods that have been used to create these boats in order for them to fulfill their desired destiny of just getting on the water to provide the unique form of racing and enjoyment as their predecessors once did.

Each boat is allocated a Time Correction Factor (TCF) that is applied to its actual race time to produce a boat's corrected race time. Overall placings for a race are then based on corrected race time.

The calculation of the TCF for each boat is based on an assessment of the respective authenticity items of the boat, with time adjustments applied to each item. Authentic items are encouraged and receive the allocated time adjustment whilst non-authentic items are penalized and receive a reduced or negligible time adjustment. -- Di Pearson

www.sydneyflyingsquadron.com.au

Marinepool Iso Automatic Life Jackets - Test Winners Around The Globe
MarinePool Safety is the last area where compromise is an option. 

Marinepool utilizes only the best materials, state of the art release mechanisms and all life jackets are produced in ISO certified production facilities. More than 20 years of experience and design excellence and a proven track record have made the German brand the largest producer of life jackets for the leisure market and its products the benchmark in the market.

Marinepool life jackets have come out on top of product tests by magazines around the globe again and again. Proof that our no-compromise designs and no-nonsense attitude result in the best product for your safety. Marinepool is striving after setting the bar ever higher to satisfy the demands of top athletes and the general watersport enthusiast alike.  

For both highest functionality and uncompromising quality go hand in hand and add to their success on the race courses or their pleasure when out at sea.

Turning the wearer quickly into the correct position, with face and airways clear of the water, while putting them in a secure and comfortable floating position regardless of weight and size is crucial.

At the same time, the life jackets must offer a simple and hassle free adjustment system for harness and crotch strap. Marinepool life jackets excel in both areas and are made to the new ISO 12402 standards - already compulsory in Italy and Spain for life jackets sold in these countries - which are much more stringent than previous CE standards.

Marinepool offers a comprehensive range of 150N, 180N and 300N automatic and manual life jackets as well as 50N and 100N foam filled life jackets for cruising and performance sail racing. In addition, the range includes horse shoes, sling rescue systems and ISO certified life lines with two or three hooks.

Comfort and ease to wear make it more likely that life jackets are put on and it remains fact that only a life jacket that is worn can do much good.

Visit us at boot Dusseldorf January 18th - 26th, Hall 11, Stand H41.

The ISO life jacket range by Marinepool. Design. Technology. Passion.

www.marinepool.com

New Italian Team Bombarda Racing Join The RC44's
With just a few weeks to go before the opening event of the 2014 RC44 Championship Tour, where the fleet will make their Caribbean debut at the RC44 Virgin Gorda Cup, British Virgin Islands, 12- 16 February, a new Italian team have confirmed their entry into the Tour for the 2014 season.

Bombarda Racing's owner Andrea Pozzi will be building a team with the help of tactician Gabriele Benussi and Coach Marco Capitani. The current all Italian line-up includes America's Cup sailors Edoardo Natucci and Giovanni Cassinari who sailed onboard Mascalzone Latino.

New to sailing in 2012, Pozzi has quickly made an impact, finishing fifth in the Melges 32 World Championships last September in Porto Rotondo, Italy,

Bombarda Racing Crew List

Helm: Andrea Pozzi
Tactician: Gabriele Benussi
Mainsail Trimmer: Giovanni Cassinari
Foresail Trimmer: Gaetano Figlia di Granara
Dack hand: Francesco Pozzi
Grinder: Edoardo Natucci
Floater: Roberta de Paoli Ambrosi
Pitman: Michele Cannoni
Bowman: Matteo Auguadro

rc44.com

Has Dun Laoghaire Lost The Plot?
Dun Laoghaire's waterfront area and harbour is a hotbed of development and proposed projects. W M Nixon takes an outsider's view of what might be happening around Ireland's biggest sailing centre.

Your heart would go out to Dun Laoghaire. The perceptions which emerge from proposals for developments and new businesses along the waterfront definitely don't chime at all with the image of a place which once was known as Kingstown, and has its origins in the heights of gentility and middle class refinement.

What are we folk from other ports to make of it all? We find sailing in through the entrance to savour Dun Laoghaire harbour's unique style a wonderful experience. There is nowhere quite like it, not just in Ireland, but anywhere else in the world. Yet rumours fly around about changes which could seriously impair the special character of the place. What are those of us who may not have the inside track on the true nature of actual and anticipated developments along the waterfront to make of it all?

afloat.ie/blogs/sailing-saturday-with-wm-nixon/

IRC'S 30th Anniversary Year
With 2014 marking the 30th Anniversary of the IRC rating rule, a major milestone in the provision of fair and simple ratings for racing sailors around the world, the RORC Rating Office is requesting your help to record some of your most memorable racing moments, either during this landmark year or from the past 30 years, for publication in the 2015 IRC Yearbook.

The Rating Office's Technical Manager, Jenny Howells, explains: "Wherever you are IRC racing this year when something amazing, significant or memorable happens, we would love you to record it for posterity in 150 words or less with a captioned photograph if possible, and email your contribution to us by Friday 19th September 2014. Alternatively, why not cast your mind back and tell us about your personal 'magic moment' in your racing history from the past 30 years."

Up to six of the best contributions will be selected for publication in the next IRC Yearbook, published by Yachting World in January 2015.

For full details of how to make your submission, please visit: tinyurl.com/ircmm

Race The RORC Caribbean 600 On A Volvo 70!
RORC Caribbean 600 Monster Project Do you dream of sailing a Volvo 70? The keel fully canted. Flying a huge spinnaker with six of your crewmates grinding on the pedestals in tropical sunshine. Feeling the power as the boat accelerates down a wave at 25+ knots in warm Caribbean winds...

This could be you!

Monster Project, Team Russia's boat (Kosatka) in the 2008 Volvo Ocean Race, is the only Volvo Open 70 available for charter - a unique opportunity for amateur sailors to experience these amazing racing machines!

The RORC Caribbean 600 is the headline offshore racing event in the Caribbean. With a 600 mile course around 10 islands, it's an epic race to rival the Fastnet - but much warmer!

Join us on Monster Project for our RORC Caribbean 600 program:

- Tuesday 18 through Saturday 22 February: pre-race training at Falmouth Harbour in beautiful Antigua
- Saturday 22 February: Welcome Party, Antigua Yacht Club
- Sunday 23 February: final boat preparations / rest day
- Monday 24 February: RORC Caribbean 600 starts at 1050h
- Friday 28 February: Prize-giving Ceremony, Antigua Yacht Club

Monster Project's RORC Caribbean 600 package includes:

- Race entry
- Berthing fees
- Pre-race training
- Professional Racing Skipper and Crew
- Food and bottled water during sailing
- Monster Project race clothing
- Safety equipment (loan)
- Wet-weather clothing (loan)

Can't make it to the RORC? Monster Project also operates Caribbean, UK, European and Trans-Atlantic Racing and Adventure Sailing charters for groups, corporates and individuals.

See the Calendar on our website:
www.volvo70charter.co.uk
email:

Stuart Bithell Teams Up With John Pink For Rio 49er
John Pink and Stuart Bithell. Click on image to enlarge.

Pink and Bithell Rochdale's Olympic sailing silver medallist Stuart Bithell has had a change of tack in his quest for Olympic glory at Rio 2016.

Bithell, 28, and his 2012 silver medal-winning teammate Luke Patience called time on their 470 partnership at the end of 2012, with their combined body weight in the boat deemed too heavy to be competitive in the light winds expected in Rio.

At the start of 2013, Bithell made the switch to helming in the high performance 49er skiff in a bid to realise his golden ambitions, teaming up with fellow north west talent Chris 'Twiggy' Grube.

But one year on, Bithell has returned to crewing and has teamed up with an experienced 49er talent, Hampshire sailor John Pink, in a bid to upgrade his Olympic silver to gold in two years' time, with the pair set to make their World Cup debut at this week's ISAF Sailing World Cup event in Miami (27 January-1 February).

Bithell explained the reasons behind his change of approach.

"I had a bit of an ankle injury last year which set me back three months. Going from crewing a 470 to helming a 49er was always going to be a hard thing to do, but to then miss most of the summer there were a few signs in my mind telling me that actually I was running out of time as a helm. I had to learn so much, so that was it really.

"I decided to return to crewing, which was quite a hard decision to be honest - I had a great team with Twiggy - but I made the decision and thus far I've not had any regrets."

Pink is a World Championship silver medallist in the 49er class, and finished 10th at this year's Worlds in the class with his former crew, but Bithell hopes the combined strengths in their new partnership will make them the stand-out team in the British Sailing Team's strong 49er squad.

HPR Class Enjoys Closest-Ever Racing at 2014 Quantum Key West
Last week's five days of racing at the 2014 Quantum Key West regatta was the third appearance for the HPR class at this annual event, and the ninth to offer trophies in HPR scoring since the rule was first introduced two years ago. But of all of these previous regattas this was the most competitive in terms of producing extremely close racing among the contenders, and the margins of victory in corrected time were the tightest seen yet.

Except for three races in the ten-race series where there were significant windshifts and other factors that skewed the results, in the remaining seven races the average margin of victory was only 17 seconds in corrected time - or less than 0.5% in an hour of racing. The average margin between 2nd and 3rd place was more - 41 seconds - but this too was only 1.1% in an hour of racing.

"These small margins are the closest yet seen in HPR competition," says Bill Lee, author of the HPR rule and Chairman of the Offshore Big Boat Management Committee at US Sailing. "We have been working hard on refining the ratings and the measurement methods, and still have some way to go, but these results are a great validation for our process. When top teams sail well against each other in a variety of conditions, it really puts a rating rule to the test, and so these close results from Key West last week are encouraging to us."

www.hprsailing.org

Whoa Black Betty
Just days ago West Australian boat Black Betty was largely unknown outside her home state. Today the 42-footer is deemed a major player on the grand prix circuit after the crew from across the country took out the elite racing series at the Festival of Sails.

Black Betty clinched the Optimum Time Racing Series Division 1 IRC win and Victorian IRC Championship in her maiden racing appearance outside of home waters.

Adding to the glory for owners Gary McNally and Brian McMasters is their defeat of two of Australia's newest yachts competing in debut regattas under the helm of two of the best skippers on the east coast; Tony Kirby's Ker 46 Patrice and Matt Allen's Carkeek 60 Ichi Ban.

Black Betty finished top of the table with 16.5 points, followed by Patrice on 19 points and Ichi Ban with 20 points.

Just half a point separated Black Betty and Patrice heading in to the final romp of the eight-race series.

It's a major shot across the bow to the country's IRC competitors and one heck of a way to announce the black-hulled GP42's arrival on the national scene.

The team is planning to carry on their success at events including the Audi IRC Australian Championship in April and Audi Hamilton Island Race Week in August. -- Lisa Ratcliff

festivalofsails.com.au

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 Sadi Claeys, past ISAF Vice Present, in answer to Barry Dunning: Perhaps the President of Brazil, Dulma Rousseff, should take care of the quality of waters in Rio to protect the health of the competitors in sailing the next Olympics... use her energies to finalise the infrastructure for the FIFA Worlds this summer... instead of interfering with the ISAF's democratic choice of sailing equipment for RIO 2016.

Featured Brokerage
Featured Brokerage Boat 2008 Dufour 365 Grand Large. EUR 97,000. Located in Crosshaven, Cork, Ireland.

This Dufour 365 Grand'Large is in very good condition. She is the twin aft cabin version and comes with an excellent inventory including a fully battened mainsail, Furling Genoa, hot water, shore power and more. She has the added advantage of a 2010 Volvo 29HP diesel engine. "St. Jude" has had light use from new. Excellent value!

Brokerage through Crosshaven Boatyard: www.yachtworld.com/crosshavenboatyard/

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

The Last Word
Who cares if a movie star has an opinion unless the person is very well informed? -- Brian Lamb

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