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Multiple Winners On Opening Day In Muscat
Photo by Mark Lloyd, www.lloydimages.com. Click on image to enlarge.

Extreme Sailing Oman The fleet of 11 elite level Extreme 40 catamarans headed onto the Muscat racecourse for the opening day of Act 2 of the global Extreme Sailing Series, in what it's shaping up to be an unpredictable and close fought event, with five different winners over seven races. The Danish SAP Extreme Sailing Team had the edge over the less consistent teams, but with only 16 points separating the top eight, there will be some tough competition tomorrow as the front runners try to establish a firm lead.

SAP Extreme Sailing Team, Emirates Team New Zealand and The Wave, Muscat all came away with a win apiece, with Alinghi and Groupama sailing team taking two, keeping everyone guessing right up to the last race as to which team would finish the day on top. The fleet raced in open water, giving them the chance to stretch their sails under a brilliant Arabian sun, in a light breeze between 5-7 knots that played across the course, with each windward-leeward two-lap race lasting just over 15 minutes.

Series Main Partners Land Rover today announced a new partnership with the Austrian Red Bull Sailing Team, as the Official Team and Vehicle Partner

It was a testing day for Realteam, who were unable to continue riding on their wave of success following their third place in Singapore just three weeks ago, and also for GAC Pindar, who couldn't emulate their recent 18-foot skiff success during the day's racing, with the teams finishing tenth and eleventh respectively.

Standings after Day 1, 7 races

1. SAP Extreme Sailing Team (DEN) Jes Gram-Hansen, Rasmus Køstner, Thierry Douillard, Peter Wibroe, Nicolai Sehested, 48 points
2. Alinghi (SUI) Morgan Larson, Anna Tunnicliffe, Pierre-Yves Jorand, Nils Frei, Yves Detrey, 45
3. Groupama sailing team (FRA) Franck Cammas, Sophie de Turckheim, Tanguy Cariou, Thierry Fouchier, Devan Le Bihan, 45
4. The Wave, Muscat (OMA) Leigh McMillan, Sarah Ayton, Pete Greenhalgh, Kinley Fowler, Nasser Al Mashari, 44
5. Emirates Team New Zealand (NZL) Dean Barker, Glenn Ashby, James Dagg, Jeremy Lomas, Edwin Delaat, 43
6. Red Bull Sailing Team (AUT) Roman Hagara, Hans-Peter Steinacher, Mark Bulkeley, Nick Blackman, Stewart Dodson, 41
7. Oman Air (OMA) Rob Greenhalgh, Tom Johnson, Will Howden, Hashim Al Rashdi, Musab Al Hadi, 33
8. J.P. Morgan BAR (GBR) Ben Ainslie, Nick Hutton, Paul Goodison, Pippa Wilson, Matt Cornwell, 32
9. Gazprom Team Russia (RUS) Igor Lisovenko, Paul Campbell-James, Alister Richardson, Pete Cumming, Aleksey Kulakov, 25
10. Realteam (SUI) Jerome Clerc, Arnaud Psarofaghis, Bryan Mettraux, Thierry Wassem, Nils Palmieri, 22
11. GAC Pindar (AUS) Seve Jarvin, Troy Tindill, Ed Smyth, Sam Newton, David Gilmour, 16

www.extremesailingseries.com

2016 Vendee Globe Launched
The countdown has begun for the 2016 Vendee Globe with the aim of displaying the best of what ocean racing has to offer while promoting the colours of its partners. The projects that are currently underway were presented to the media in Les Sables d'Olonne on Monday.

Thirty six sailors are currently working on a strategy to be there at the start of the race in less than 1000 days. Twenty-two of them presented their projects in Les Sables-d'Olonne at a media briefing organised by the SAEM Vendee, the company behind the Vendee Globe. Among them, Alex Thomson, third in the last race, and who will be lining up on Hugo Boss with his usual sense of humour declared, "Maybe not with the most competitive budget, at least we're the best looking team." Jeremie Beyou (Maitre Coq) and Morgan Lagraviere (Safran) will also be out there. Tanguy de Lamotte will be competing agin in the colours of Initiatives-Cœur, with his new boat (built for the 2008 race and returning after the last Vendee Globe). Armel Tripon, who has just got his hands on Kito de Pavant's former Groupe Bel is about to see his dream come true. The same goes for the German, Jorg Riechers, sponsored by Mare, who are the current owners of Jeremie Beyou's former Maitre Coq.

Among those hoping to line up for the next race, Alessandro di Benedetto, Arnaud Boissieres, Pascal Bidegorry, Corentin Douguet, Marc Guillemot, Alex Pella and Christopher Pratt took advantage of the opportunity to announce their intention of being at the start in 2016. The presence of Guo Chuan, the first Chinese racer to have sailed solo around the world (in 2013 on a Class40) confirmed how attractive the Vendee Globe is internationally. The aeronautical engineer travelled all the way to les Sables to present his IMOCA construction project.

SAEM Vendee has once again entrusted Denis Horeau with the role of race director. This will be the fifth time that he has taken up this post after the 1989, 2004, 2008 and 2012 races. The team was officially presented on Monday 17th March and Jacques Caraës who has just joined the team will be an important figure.

www.vendeeglobe.org

Marinepool - Official Clothing Supplier Of The Extreme Sailing Series™
Marine Pool Marinepool is widely regarded as one of the leading sailing clothing and maritime lifestyle brands and is the "Official Clothing Supplier" of the Extreme Sailing Series™.

We have built a reputation for outstanding quality, excellent service and quick and reliable deliveries. These are only a few of the reasons why no less than 4 out of 11 teams in the Extreme Sailing Series™, among them 2013 Champions The Wave, Muscat, are racing in Marinepool kit.

Using only the best materials and state of the art production technologies, no detail is omitted to ensure every product is optimized before it reaches the market. More than 22 years of experience and design excellence, plus the invaluable input of the world class athletes proudly wearing Marinepool garments, guarantee the products are at the cutting edge of technology.

Uncompromising, highly functional and extremely light weight; Tested and approved by many of the world's finest sailors.

As a group of companies with German roots and head quarters, operating in 43 countries, with product lines ranging from performance sailing clothing and a test winning life jacket range to maritime fashion, Marinepool is uniquely qualified and the perfect match for the clothing requirements of YOUR sailing team or company. Of course we offer branding services for your team kit as well.

Purchase the Extreme Sailing Series Collection by Marinepool directly from the official online store: www.extreme-sailing-series-store.com or contact us for your customized team wear.

www.marinepool.com

Clipper Qingdao To San Francisco
The foggy conditions that have caused delay to the Race 10 re-start lifted enough by first light , allowing teams to officially start the 5,600 mile race to San Francisco, USA.

As the fleet turns north along the Japanese coastline, the Kuroshio Current or 'Black Current' (a strong north flowing current that appears a deeper blue than the sea through which it flows) will bring stronger, northerly winds, expected to both propel and challenge the teams as they approach the North Pacific Ocean.

Race 10 includes an Ocean Sprint and Scoring Gate, allowing teams the chance to pick up bonus points along the course. All teams will also be entitled to two periods of Stealth Mode - once activated, that particular yachts position will be hidden from the Race Viewer for 24 hours for attempted tactical gain.

PSP Logistics departed Qingdao this morning and are now motoring to the same re-start line. Their overall race performance will be based on elapsed time and not first over the line.

* The first 24 hours of Race 10 have been demanding for the Clipper Race teams. Excellent initial sailing conditions and good fleet speeds quickly gave way yesterday to varying degrees of wind holes.

Frequent sail changes and tactical decision making resulted in little sleep for skippers as they seeked to find the best routes toward the final waypoint at the southern tip of Japan.

A little delayed but feeling upbeat and positive, PSP Logistics is expected to reach the re-start line at approximately 12:00 UTC today to officially get their Race 10 campaign off the mark.

www.clipperroundtheworld.com

Round Hainan Regatta Marks Five-Year Milestone With Record Number Of Entries
China's premiere offshore racing event attracts a record-breaking 45 entries with Olympic medalists and world champions among the 372 participating sailors representing 15 countries and regions from four continents. After China, Russia brings the biggest number of participants with six teams and dozens of sailors.

Now in its fifth edition, the regatta has grown by leaps and bounds. A total of 372 sailors from China, Hong Kong, Taiwan, Russia, New Zealand, USA, Canada, Australia, UK, Italy, The Netherlands, Singapore, Malaysia, Germany and France will take part this year.

The 45-strong fleet is divided this year into five divisions, IRC A, IRC B, Beneteau Oceanis 40, Soto 27 and for the first time ever Fareast 26. All classes will start on March 21st with two days of in-port races in Sanya, including one Pro-Am for the IRC A, IRC B and Beneteau Oceanis 40 classes that will mix sponsors and media with crews for a first-hand experience in yacht racing.

The one-design Soto 27 and Fareast 26 fleets will conclude their participation in the fifth edition of the Round Hainan Regatta on March 23rd with their third day of in-port races in Sanya.

On the same day, the IRC A's and Beneteau Oceanis 40's will embark on the 470-mile long round the island race in two stages. The first one will take them from Sanya to Haikou, sailing along the island's west coast. After a lay day in Haikou and another one of in-port races in Haikou, the fleet will depart from the island's capital on March 26th and head back to Sanya, this time along the east coast.

The IRC B's will hold a long coastal race around the East and West island on Sanya bay on March 23rd and after a lay day will head on the 25th to Wanning, on the east coast of the island. After a coastal race around the islands of Zhouzai and Jiajing on the 26th, the fleet will set sail on March 27th towards Sanya where it will join the IRC A's for the c;osing and prize-giving ceremony on the 28th. -- Juerg Kaufmann

Anhedral-Angle Rudder Foils
"Evolution, not revolution." This has been the mantra adopted by the International Moth class ever since the complete sea-change that came about with the introduction of hydrofoils over a decade ago. Since then, evolution has been gradual, with refinements in foil and sail technology.

Because of the Moth's necessary emphasis on vertical lift, some of the developments within the class have been inspired by sailing's faster, often flashier cousin: aviation. The associations are by no means new: those who grew up watching the VHF of 'Awesome Aussie Skiffs' will remember the commentary team describing Nokia's downwind performance on a fresh-to-frightening Auckland harbour as 'Top Gun, jet fighter stuff; ready for take-off'.

Now that dinghies have quite literally taken off, in the Moth fleet we are starting to see 'fighter jet' technology visibly trickle down onto production foilers. A particularly intriguing example is the recent partial adoption of anhedral-angle rudder foils (the foil horizontals slope downwards).

Full article by Finbar Anderson in Yachts and Yachting:

www.yachtsandyachting.com

Caudrelier Chooses Chinese Sailors For Training Leg To Auckland
Dongfeng Race Team skipper Charles Caudrelier has picked six of the 12 Academy Squad sailors to sail the training leg from Sanya to Auckland in a re-enactment of Leg 4 of the Volvo Ocean Race. The chosen six Chinese sailors now move another step closer to realising their dream of making the final race crew onboard 'Dongfeng' for the start of the Volvo Ocean Race in October. The six sailors are: Jin Hao Chen (Horace), Liu Ming (Leo), Ying Kit Cheng (Kit), Liu Xue, Jiru Yang (Wolf) and Yiran Zhang.

For the majority of these Chinese sailors it will be their first long offshore sailing experience.

Parallel to the Round Hainan Regatta, the Dongfeng Race Team are scheduled to depart from their Official Training Base Serenity Marina in Sanya on Thursday 20th March.

The journey from Sanya to Auckland is 5,264 nautical miles, expected to take around 21 days, and is considered as one of the toughest legs of the Volvo Ocean Race. Auckland is a legendary Volvo Ocean Race stopover and the city are preparing to welcome the team with open arms. "It's great news that Dongfeng is coming to Auckland in April and we will welcome the boat and crew in style," says Richard Wingfield, Chairman of the Local Organising Committee for the Auckland Stopover 2015. "This will be the first chance for Kiwis to see the new one-design boat and I know there'll be a lot of people down at the waterfront eager to see it close-up."

dongfengraceteam.com

How Will The 35th America's Cup Be Conducted?
Ah, there's the rub. The Protocol defines both commercial terms and competition. Russell Coutts leads the negotiations for the defender and Iain Murray represents the challengers, as head of the challenger of record. The biggest sticking point may be the challenger selection process. Formerly called the Louis Vuitton Cup, the process in the past has been for all challengers to compete in the class of boat to be raced in the America's Cup Match, with racing at the venue of the match. Neither the "Louis Vuitton Acts" that preceded the 2007 Louis Vuitton Cup in Valencia nor the America's Cup World Series that preceded the 2013 edition in San Francisco "counted" for anything in selecting the eventual Challenger (both times ETNZ).

One idea apparently under discussion is to use the America's Cup World Series in the challenger selection process, with only the top four teams going to the America's Cup Match venue, racing AC62's for the first time, in a Challenger Selection Regatta.

This seems very unlikely to be accepted by the challengers.

How would they sell this concept to sponsors? To be competitive they would have to design and build their AC62 without knowing if they would ever race it. If the Defender races in the ACWS, they can influence the selection of who they face in the America's Cup Match. -- Jack Griffin

cupexperience.com

50th Anniversary Congressional Cup
In 1964 when Lyndon Johnson was president he probably didn't notice that Eric Ridder had just sailed the 12-Meter Constellation to a 4-0 sweep of Great Britain's Sovereign to keep the America's Cup in American waters, even with a full crew of Americans on the boat.

But if there was little interest in the Auld Mug, an imaginative Long Beach Yacht Club group intrigued by match race sailing and led by Bill Dalessi was busy creating a New Mug: the Congressional Cup.

The next year it was born, with a collection mostly of outstanding amateur sailors from across the country racing one on one for no prize money on their own Cal 40s, and---whattaya know---it worked!

Half a century later, with Dalessi still on the scene, LBYC will stage a three-part 50th edition of the event with a cast of professional talent from seven countries, including seven of the top eight in the world.

The lineup for the Congressional Cup April 9-13 includes five former winners---Ian Williams of the UK (ranked No. 2), Mathieu Richard of France (5), Johnie Berntsson of Sweden (7) and Simone Ferrarese (8) and Francesco Bruni of Italy---plus the young shooting star now ranked No. 1 atop all of them: Taylor Canfield, 25, of the U.S. Virgin Islands.

They will be joined by the top four finishers among six competitors in the Ficker Cup the previous two days that includes New Zealand's Phil Robertson (4), Australia's Keith Swinton (6) and Americans Christopher Poole from Oyster Bay, N.Y., Dustin Durant and the always present Kiwi expatriate Scott Dickson from LBYC---plus a sixth former two-time winner: noted racer, sailing author, lecturer and instructor Dave Perry of Pequot, Conn., who will join the final fray if he survives the Ficker, named for Bill, the 1974 Congressional Cup winner. -- Rich Roberts

www.lbyc.org

Featured Brokerage
Raceboats Only 1990 Racing Trimaran ORMA LAKTOA. 280000 Euros. Located in Grenada.

An incredible ex racing trimaran with an unequalled prize list.

Originally built as PIERRE 1er for the legendary French sailor Florence Arthaud , she won the Route du Rhum in 1990, making her the first woman ever to win a major offshore sailing event.

She became LAKOTA in 1993 with her new owner and skipper, US tycoon Steve Fossett, who was 5th over the line in Route du Rhum 1994 despite a limited experience in multihull sailing. He then sailed her in the Transpac 1995 (1st over the line), San Francisco Yokohama 1995, Los Angeles Honolulu 1997 (2nd over the line), 1999 Pineapple Cup 1999 (1st). In total, he broke 12 ocean records with her between 1993 and 2000.

In 2000, she was sold to the Swedish team "Atlant Group". They broke many records. She became successively SONY (2001), PINDAR (2001 - skipper Emma Richards), SONY (2002), NICATOR (Le Cap Rio Race in 2003 : 1st over the line), TIETO ENATOR L'OREAL (2004), LAKOTA (2007) and SJOVILLAN (2008).

In 2011, she was sold to her current owner who enjoyed using her for cruising and fast ocean passages since. Current condition - ready to sail.

Details

Bernard Gallay Yacht Brokerage: www.bernard-gallay.com

See the RaceboatsOnly.com collection at seahorsemagazine.com/brokerage/

The Last Word
The right answer is seldom as important as the right question. -- Kip Thorne

Editorial and letter submissions to

Advertising inquiries to Graeme Beeson: or see www.scuttlebutteurope.com/advertise.html

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