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De Ridder Reportedly Suspended For Five Years
America's Cup sailor Dirk de Ridder has been suspended from sanctioned events for five years by sailing's international governing body, two people with knowledge of the decision said Tuesday.

The people spoke with The Associated Press on condition of anonymity because the suspension is being appealed.

Unless a review board or the Court of Arbitration for Sport overturns the suspension, it effectively ends de Ridder's sailing career.

Not only is the 41-year-old de Ridder banned from the 2017 America's Cup, but he's unable to accept a $500,000 contract to sail in the Volvo Ocean Race, which begins later this year.

De Ridder said via email from his home in the Netherlands that he couldn't comment on his case. He was banished from the 2013 America's Cup and Oracle Team USA was docked two points by the international jury four days before the opening races of the regatta in September on San Francisco Bay.

De Ridder had been cleared of further punishment by his national governing body before the ISAF Disciplinary Commission issued the five-year suspension.

Paul Henderson, a former ISAF president and former International Olympic Committee member, told the AP by phone from his Toronto home on Tuesday that he'd never heard of such a harsh penalty, and that the case raises serious questions of whether de Ridder and others received due process.

"If you're Ben Johnson and you won a gold medal and then got caught doping and were only banned for two years, and A-Rod is only out for a year, and then there's somebody that it's questionable whether he had anything to do with it, I don't understand," Henderson said.

Henderson said the New Zealand attorneys wrote "an excellent report. You read it and say, 'Oooh. I'm not sure due process was done."

Henderson said de Ridder's case needs to be heard by the Court of Arbitration for Sport.

Return Of A Sailing Classic
Final preparations are underway for the 27th Rolex China Sea Race, Asia's principal offshore competition which starts Wednesday, 16 April. A fleet of 34 yachts from eight countries are expected to make the start line in Victoria Harbour, Hong Kong ahead of a 565-nm race through the South China Sea to Subic Bay, The Philippines.

Among the international entrants is the predominantly American crew onboard Brian Ehrhart's TP52 Lucky, overall winner of the 2010 Rolex Middle Sea Race. The Lucky crew includes Australian navigator Adrienne Cahalan, multiple line honours winner at the Rolex Sydney Hobart onboard the all-conquering 100-ft Maxi Wild Oats XI. Lucky will face strong competition on the water from two TP52 rivals Freefire and Standard Insurance Centennial, the latter skippered by Ernesto Echauz (overall winner in 1998 and 2008).

Geoff Hill skippered Genuine Risk to line honours in 2012 and is aiming for a repeat performance this time onboard 72-ft Antipodes (GBR). "This is a real ocean race in the true sense of the word," explained Hill. "It's very challenging in terms of the conditions and a true test of seamanship and experience." Genuine Risk remains favourite for line honours in 2014 although under its new guise as the Syd Fischer-skippered Ragamuffin 90.

The defending champion is Jonathan Mahony's Humphreys 42 Zanzibar, keen to start off where she finished in 2012. No boat has successfully defended its Rolex China Sea Race title since the mid-1960s, a daunting challenge as Mahony admits: "The odds are probably against us as the fleet is larger and stronger this time around and includes many former winners."

One of those former winners is Rolex China Sea Race veteran Neil Pryde who first competed in the race in 1968 and is aiming to add to his impressive haul of Rolex China Sea Race honours which includes two overall and two line honours victories. "Line honours is probably out of reach considering we have two much bigger boats in the fleet this year but we are certainly looking for a podium position and overall first place is definitely on the agenda," said Pryde, owner of the Welbourne 52 Hi Fi.

The course record to beat was set by Karl Kwok on his Volvo 60 Beau Geste (elapsed time 47 hours, 43 minutes and 7 seconds) in 2000.

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Royal Southern Match Cup
The Royal Southern Yacht Club has today released the list of competitors for their ISAF Grade 2 Royal Southern Match Cup to be held in Hamble from 12 - 15 June.  With entries from three of the eight Alpari World Match Race Tour card holders headed by World No. 2 Ian Williams (GBR), this is the strongest match racing field to be seen racing in UK waters for many years.

Interesting sub-plots are emerging with three antipodeans taking on three Brits, three Europeans and three younger teams to come from the Royal Southern's qualifying event to be held on 3-4 May when the Chief Umpire will be no less than Craig Mitchell, Tour Director of the Alpari World Match Race Tour. He will no doubt be looking at the rising talent in the match racing fleet.

The full entry list (with ISAF ranking)

Ian Williams - GBR - 2
Keith Swinton - AUS - 6
David Gilmour - AUS - 12
Reuben Corbett - NZL - 15
Arthur Herreman - FRA - 34
Lucas Lier - DEN - 45
Philip Bendon - IRL - 47
Ali Hall - GBR - 122
Andy Shaw - GBR - 270

& three Qualifiers to be selected 3-4 May. -- Peta Stuart-Hunt

Round Ireland Yacht Race 2014
There are just over 10 weeks to go to the start of the 34th Round Ireland Yacht Race. This race of 704 nm which circumnavigates the island of Ireland, leaving all islands to starboard except Rockall, starts at Wicklow at 14.00 hrs on Saturday 28th June.

There is talk of a Volvo 70 chasing line honours, although the record of just under two days and 18 hours established by Mike Slade in ICAP Leopard in 2008 will be hard to beat. However, a Volvo Ocean has already been entered. This particular 60 ft yacht was built in New Zealand for the 2001-02 Volvo Ocean Race and sailed at that time as Djuice Dragons. In June 2012 it was christened Team Jolokia and became part of a completely new project. "The goal of Team Jolokia is to show that diversity, if well-integrated, can be a major lever for progress, ..." and the crew is selected to exemplify diversity.

Team Jolokia faces a busy summer; after the Round Ireland, they will compete at Cowes Week, at Voiles de St Tropez and also in the Middle Sea Race. Race organiser Theo Phelan is delighted to welcome Team Jolokia to the Round Ireland and he says that precedent shows that the bulk of the Round Ireland entries tend to be made in April.

Inspirational Speaker - Jock Wishart, Sportsman and Adventurer
Jock Wishart Jock Wishart is one of those doughty Scots, hard-wired to succeed. A leading adventurer and sportsman, he was the first to walk unsupported to the magnetic North Pole, has rowed across the Atlantic Ocean, and broke the record for the fastest circumnavigation in a powerboat. In 2011, he led a team that successfully rowed (and dragged) a boat to the North Pole.

Born in Dumfries, Scotland, Jock graduated from Durham University and has become one of Britain's leading 'Corinthians'. He has represented his country at rowing and yachting, and is a veteran of the 1980 British America's Cup team. A British University championship medal winner in rowing, sprint canoeing and weight lifting, he also project managed the team that broke the Round Britain powerboat record in 1989, He is also a former European Dragon Boat Racing champion.

Formerly PR Director for a leading public relations firm in London, Wishart has a charismatic personality well used to communicating with large multi-national companies and audiences. In 1991, he was head of public relations at the 1991 Rugby World Cup, and his adventures have led him to become a regular TV pundit commentating on extreme sports and survival. He is regularly called on to represent Corporates and sponsors in personal appearances, lectures, motivational presentations, promotions, television work and radio-broadcasting. Past associations include Remy UK, British Petroleum, Gallaher, Adidas, Cummins Engines, Cable & Wireless Plc, Old Pulteney Whisky, Accenture,QBE and Wedgwood.

Jock lives in Kingston upon Thames with his wife and two children.

Jock 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, Olympic coach Jim Saltonstall, Atlantic adventurers Tom McClean and Geoff Holt MBE, Captain Williams Wells, powerboat record breaker Dag Pike, and sailing journalists Bob Fisher, Barry Pickthall and Rob Salvidge.


Industry News
Maersk Line, the world's largest shipping company, will be Volvo Ocean Race's shipping partner for the 2014-15 edition starting in October with the challenge of keeping offshore sailing's toughest global event on track in over 10 countries, four continents and five oceans.

Volvo Ocean Race Chief Operations Officer Tom Touber: "Maersk Line is a great partner to have on board sharing the same passion for the sea although in a totally different field.

"We are very lucky to have a very professional shipping company to transport the whole race village around the world. It's a case of setting up a village for almost 1,000 inhabitants if you count all of the race, team and other stakeholder staff. The race boats are so fast now it has become a real challenge to get everything ready for them when they arrive."


Digital media company RNTS Media announced its official partnership of the Invest Africa entry in the 2013-14 edition of the Clipper Round the World Yacht Race at South Beach Yacht Club in San Francisco.

The company is the leader in all-in-one cloud-based broadcasting and video-on-demand platform and educational and youth entertainment content, developing highly popular gaming apps for mobile use.  Launching in the US market, the company is pursuing acquisition of relevant US companies and content across the United States.

The Clipper Race and Invest Africa partnership is a great platform for global expansion to attract international partners into emerging continents such as Africa and its rapidly growing society where practically all digital communication is via mobile, a natural growth area for the company.


Organisers of the Valencia Boat Show held a press conference this week to officially launch the event. Now in its second edition, the show will be held from 24-28 April around the Veles e Vents building at the Marina Real Juan Carlos I.

The Valencia Boat Show 2014 aims to repeat the positive results from last year: the show attracted 40,000 visitors and registered €1.2m in turnover during the event and almost €3m in follow-up sales.

Organisers invested €116,929 in the Valencia Boat Show 2013, which is a direct ratio of €10.2 generated per euro invested. This year's show features a 5% budget increase over last year's edition.


The Ancasta Easter Collection currently boasts 156 boats in the sail section of its catalogue and 154 boats under the power section. Catalogues can be seen online at . More boats are being added daily and although the print catalogue is due to go to press, any newly listed boats will go into the ever expanding online catalogue. The Ancasta Easter Collection 2014, Europe's biggest brokerage event, takes place between the 12th and 21st April 2014. 

The sailboat section showcases over 30 Beneteau's, 11 Moody's and 10 Bavaria's as well as some beautiful examples from brands such as Hallberg Rassy, Hanse, Najad and Oyster. 

On the power side, the catalogue includes 23 Sealine's, 12 Fairline's, 10 Beneteau's plus boats from brands like Azimut, Hardy, Monterey and Windy. 


NUMECA, known as an innovative force in CFD (computational fluid dynamics) software, will power ORACLE TEAM USA's design team as an Official Supplier.

"NUMECA has partnered with ORACLE TEAM USA to provide the design team with a comprehensive CFD analysis solution in its defense of the 35th America's Cup," said general manager Grant Simmer.

"In addition to delivering advanced simulation technology through its FineMarine software suite, NUMECA will be a significant contributor to our modeling activities by providing key numerical optimization tools, expert technical support, and aligning its software development roadmap with the design team's modeling objectives."

CFD has become critical for America's Cup design teams as they move away from physical model testing to a combination of virtual design / performance prediction tools and on-water boat-on-boat testing.


Development of the proposals and detailed plans for the construction of an ongoing maintenance base for the Navitus Bay Wind Farm project are well advanced, offering Yarmouth a 'real opportunity' as the operating base for the project. Yarmouth Harbour Commissioners believe that Yarmouth is an ideal location, and if selected as the operations and maintenance base, it would have a positive impact on the local area. Business locally would benefit from increased revenue and employment opportunities would be available to local people for twenty five years.

The proposed Wind Farm would be constructed in Christchurch Bay, 8.6 miles South West from the Needles, with between 121 and 194 turbines planned. Navitus Bay is one of the smaller of the Round 3 wind farms, but larger than any existing offshore wind farm. This project is predicted to produce enough energy to provide power for 710,000 homes.


Former workers of Fitzroy Yachts watched the launch of the yard's last build, Escapade, leave the New Zealand facility yesterday. Some wore red shirts that said "The last Escapade cost me my job".

The 37.5m sailing yacht, owned by Swiss businessman Christophe Albin, was launched in a "veil of secrecy", according to the Taranaki Daily News. On a Facebook page established to support the workers, Chris Earp, a former worker, wrote: "It's a shame that Christophe is trying to keep all the people that worked so hard on that yacht from seeing her off." He also described Fitzroy Yachts as the "finest yard in New Zealand".

Fitzroy, which started operations in the late 1990s, announced in January that the Taranaki facility would close down in April since the yard could find no more work. Escapade was the 11th superyacht built at the facility.


A new master plan to breathe new life into the Solent's maritime and industrial fortunes has today been announced.

Top ministers have unveiled an ambitious regeneration scheme drawing on the region's seafaring excellence.

Both Southampton and Portsmouth will seek to benefit from the blueprint offering a shot in the arm boosting the economy and generate new growth.

The report follows last year's shock announcement by BAE Systems to axe shipbuilding in Portsmouth with the loss of 1,000 jobs

The work, linked to the linked to the Solent Strategic Economic Plan, has been commissioned by Minister for Portsmouth Michael Fallon and is led by Rear Admiral Rob Stevens CB.

It identifies marine and maritime as the region's largest sector and establishes a the route to reinvigorate its global reputation for excellence through leadership, planning, new technologist and brand promotion.

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The "Silva Hispaniola" an Evento 42 was build in 2004 as a youth racing project and developed to the most successful German ORC racing team. The team sails short and medium range regattas.

"Silva" was designed and continuously optimized with judel/vrolijk & co. For optimal performance the 42 ft boat requires a team of ten.

1st German Championship ORC Inshore 2013
1st Aalregatta 2013
1st MaiOR 2013
5th Worlds 2012
1st ORCi European Championship 2011
1st ORCi IDM Inshore 2011


Brokerage: Judel Vrolijk Yacht Design,

See the collection at

The Last Word
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