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Lorient Stopover For Two Volvo Ocean Races
France returns to host the Volvo Ocean Race from Lorient, in Brittany on the northwest coast of France, in the summer of 2012. Lorient will be the penultimate stopover in the race, which starts from Alicante, Spain in the autumn of 2011. Like La Rochelle before it (1997-98 and 2001-02), Lorient will also host a stopover in 2014-15 edition of the race.

The announcement of Lorient follows that of start port Alicante, and Cape Town and Lisbon as host ports. Lisbon in Portugal will play host to the start of the leg to Lorient, which is around 700 nm.

France has fielded 21 entries in the race, taking part in every race from 1973-74 up until the sixth race in 1993-94 in which La Poste finished third. L'Esprit d'Equipe, skippered by Lionel Pean, was the overall winner in 1985-86 and 289 French sailors have taken part in the previous 10 races.

"Over the last 10 years, Lorient has transformed its submarine base into European-wide sailing cluster hosting a business centre to yachting activities. It is where the maxi trimarans Banque Populaire V and Groupama 3 were built. It also has an offshore sailing centre of about 50 teams, including France's most famous skippers," according to Norbert Metairie, Mayor of Lorient and President of Cap l'Orient Council.

During the stopover in Lorient, the Cite de la Voile Eric Tabarly, a complex dedicated to modern sailing races and bearing the name of the French skipper who sailed in The Whitbread four times (1973-74 Pen Duick VI, 1981-82 Euromarche, 1985-86 Côte d'Or and 1993-94 on La Poste), will be situated right in the centre of the race village.

Groupama, skippered by Franck Cammas, who is currently taking on the Jules Verne Trophy - a prize for the fastest circumnavigation of the world by any type of yacht with no restrictions on the size of the crew - has Lorient as its home base and will be France's entry in the next two races. The next European port will be announced shortly.

www.volvooceanrace.com

The Legal Battles Continue Post Racing
Two legal actions initiated before the start of the 33rd America's Cup are still ongoing, despite the winning of the trophy by BMW Oracle Racing in mid-February.

The Breach of Fiduciary Duty action leveled at the Defender, Societe Nautique de Geneve, and Alinghi team boss, Ernesto Bertarelli is due to have a response to the action lodged by the Challenger, Golden Gate Yacht Club by 8 March.

The second action relating to Constructed in Country issues, specifically that Alinghi 5 should not have been allowed to use sails built in Minden, Nevada is due back in the New York Supreme Court on 10 March.

Both actions could be wiped if the parties agreed on a basis of settlement before these dates, an issue that Sail-World has been advised is 'under discussion'.

At the final Media Conference for the 33rd America's Cup, both side were asked their position on the Court actions. Both Ernesto Bertarelli and skipper, Brad Butterworth, made it plain that they would not be entering the 34th America's Cup while they were being sued by the new Defender. -- Richard Gladwell in Sail-World.com, www.sail-world.com

The Chilean Parabola
After carving out a big arc up to 47 degrees S over previous days, Groupama 3 has begun her parabolic descent towards Drake's Passage on starboard tack, at what must be considered as reasonable speeds given the sea state. She should round Cape Horn in light airs on Thursday though the next stage of the Atlantic programme is still uncertain.

Around 600 miles from Cape Horn, the approach towards the coast of Chile isn't scheduled before early afternoon on Thursday, though it's not yet certain whether or not Franck Cammas and his nine crew will track close to the legendary rock.

"We're getting a little bit shaken about and by the end of a period on watch we're really cold. We're battling against the dampness! As regards navigation, we had a great start to this Pacific Ocean, but since then things haven't quite gone to plan. We're a little disappointed to have lost so much time dealing with this low: we thought we'd have a two day lead at the Horn but in reality we'll be making our rounding at virtually the same time. However, the trimaran is in perfect shape, ready to make her climb up the Atlantic and we're all set to make up our losses! I recall that on Orange 2, we were in much more favourable conditions with the wind giving us a big kick up the backside to head up the coast of Argentina... In principle that's not going to be the case for us: the weather's going to have to give us a bit of help sometime" indicated Lionel Lemonchois (already a Cape Horner five times over...) at the 1130 UTC radio link-up with Groupama's Race HQ in Paris.

The sailing conditions will differ dramatically once they enter the Atlantic and the crew will be under a lot of pressure to extract themselves from this transition zone. However, it comes as a great source of satisfaction that, despite Groupama 3 having only a slender lead over the reference time, she is on the point of escaping the Southern Ocean unscathed and, above all, the trimaran is in perfect condition for devouring the 7,000 miles left to cover to reach Ushant. -- Translated by Kate Jennings

Groupama 3's log (departure on 31st January at 13h 55' 53'' UTC)

Day 29 (1st March 1400 UTC): 434 miles (lead = 268 miles)
Day 30 (2nd March 1400 UTC): 575 miles (lead = 184 miles)
Day 31 (3rd March 1400 UTC): 617 miles (lead = 291 miles)

WSSRC record for the Pacific Ocean crossing (from the South of Tasmania to Cape Horn) Orange 2 (2005): 8d 18h 08'

www.cammas-groupama.com

Henri Lloyd at the Dinghy Show 2010
Henri Lloyd at the Dinghy Show 2010 Having worked with sailing professionals such as Ben Ainslie for over 12 years, Henri Lloyd knows a thing or two about dinghy sailing. What works, what doesn't, what's missing from a product and what needs to be added. All this has culminated in the fiercely innovative Pace Dinghy and Ben Ainslie Junior Ranges.

In partnership with Yachts & Yachting, Henri Lloyd will be given you the chance to win a selection of the New Pace Dinghy Range which has been designed with performance and innovation in mind, and will help to give that crucial edge whilst competing.

Come along to the Dinghy Show and see for yourself - we think you'll be impressed.

Marine Retailers:
Pinnel & Bax
Andark
Welsh Harp Boat Centre

www.henrilloyd.com

Saving Sailing Oman Sail Style
It's hard to find a better example of how sailing can be used to teach, inspire and aid development than Oman Sail. With a bit of political will and a long term vision that incorporates legacy factors, the sport of sailing can drive skills development, self esteem, national pride, technology transfer and tourism. In just 2 years, the project has proved that elite competition can drive grass-roots interest and that without the restrictions of 'old fashioned yacht clubs', sailing can be attractive and accessible.

Yesterday in Paris, the CEO of Oman Sail, David Graham hosted a press conference in Paris to talk about the competition that the Oman Sail team would be involved with in France in 2010. The Tour de France à la Voile, the Route du Rhum and the French leg of the Extreme Sailing Series Europe competition are the visible, billboard part of Oman Sail, but behind the competition lies a commitment to develop seven sailing schools across Oman ove the next 5 years and create an enduring capability to inspire, teach and coach young Omanis to be able to succeed in the field of maritime endeavour.

After two gruelling selection processes, the elite squad now consists of forty full-time Omani sailors learning to sail at a high standard and four hundred and fifty school children have already taken part in a six-week training course once a week after school that now enables them to sail safely on their own in light winds. A second sailing school will be opened later this year outside the capital Muscat, with a further five schools opening along the coast by 2015.

Full article on YachtSponsorship.com:

www.yachtsponsorship.com

8-Metre Euro Cup At Rolex Baltic Week
Kiel, Germany: The highlight of the seventh Rolex Baltic Week from 30 June to 4 July will be the 8-Metre fleet racing for their Euro Cup, in exactly the same waters where this class sailed their last ever Olympic competitions. The traditional Metre class will see both classic yachts and modern boats fight for the European title off Kiel. Among the fleet will be a number of the legendary boats who raced for Olympic medals off Duesternbrook 74 years ago. The Kieler Yacht-Club (KYC), in cooperation with the Flensburger Segel-Club, will also welcome the majestic 12mR and racy 6mR yachts for the Robbe & Berking Sterling Cup. All yachts will berth in the famous basins of the former Olympic marina, right in front of the recently renovated KYC clubhouse on the Hindenburgufer shore.

Among the classic marine beauties, the 8-Metre Germania III will surely draw great attention, as few boats are as closely associated with the sailing history of Schleswig-Holstein and its capital city Kiel as the six Germania yachts, which were built for the Krupp family in the 20th century. 1936 was one of the most important years for Germania III, when she won the Olympic bronze medal in her home waters. In the top Olympic class of the time, the yacht - which was built by the traditional boatyard Abeking & Rasmussen (A&R) - had been on course for gold until the final race. Her crew, including high-standing personalities like Hans Howaldt, Alfried Krupp von Bohlen und Halbach and Felix Scheder-Bieschin, however, not only lost the lead, but in the final jump-off also gave away the silver medal .

Now racing in Kiel is turning full circle once again, for Germania III in particular, with the Euro Cup this summer offering her a chance to redeem that Olympic Games result. For this, the 15-metre yacht will be equipped just like she was originally. In 1990, construction entrepreneur Bernhard Kolbe from Duisburg rediscovered Germania III on Lake Constance and had the boat laboriously restored to her 1935 status. The 8-Metre has never lost her speed and in 1998 her owner Kolbe, who sails the boat on the river Elbe and the Baltic Sea, even became World Champion. "Since then, however, some of her competitors have geared up, so racing for the European title should be quite tight. But we are going to fight with high ambitions to get to one of the top ranks," says Bernhard Kolbe, who is much looking forward to the 2010 Rolex Baltic Week, to which the FSC will send a race committee team before they themselves will host next year's event for the Metre classes.

www.regattanews.com

Iceland - In The Wake Of Viking
Click on image to enlarge.

Iceland Midnight Sun Race Are you looking for a new and fun place to visit this summer? If so, then Iceland is the answer. And it's closer than you might think: the distance from Scotland is just 440 km.

Viewed from offshore, the snow-white glaciers sparkle alongside landscapes of ruggedly awesome beauty. The sea surrounding Iceland is home to various species of whale, and seals are found in abundance resting or sunning on skerries.

Iceland Midnight Sun Race 10th of July 2010

The Iceland Midnight Sun Race is a unique yacht race - the only one of its kind in the North Atlantic and is when the sun stays aloft around the clock!

The 75-nautical-mile race starts in the town of Siglufjörður in North Iceland, and winds around Grimsey Island, which is traversed by the Arctic Circle.

Further information www.icesun.is

Melges 32 Fleet At 2010 Miami Grand Prix
Miami, Florida, USA: For a second consecutive year, the Melges 32 fleet is the largest in attendance at Premiere Racing's Miami Grand Prix with 23 entries, up four from 2009. Taking place March 4-7 in sunny, breezy and warm Miami, Fla., four days of some of the best racing conditions in the world are on tap for another 'who's who of sailing' field of competitors. Wednesday is slated for registration and weigh-in, racing takes place Thursday thru Sunday.

There are several who have won past major championships and can win again, such as defending Miami champ and reigning Melges 32 World Champion Pieter Taselaar (New York, N.Y.) on Bliksem with tactician Jeremy Wilmot. Fresh off of victory and obviously packing a lot of power and energy, is John Kilroy (Los Angeles, Calif.) on Samba Pa Ti with Stu Bannatyne on tactics. Kilroy's victory crusade has been anything but short-lived, making him a potential major player this week. Jeff Ecklund on STAR with long-time friend and tactician Harry Melges, is another strong contender in Miami. Recently, he has been seen sailing, and very successfully honing his skills on the all new Audi Melges 20. Ecklund raced the new sportboat at the class' Inaugural Miami Winter Series Events 1 and 2, hosted by Coconut Grove Sailing Club, winning both.

It would be no surprise to see 2009 Audi Melges 32 Sailing Series Champion Carlo Alberini (Pessaro, Italy) on Calvi Network at the forefront of the fleet. 2009 North American Champion Don Jesberg (Belvedere, Calif.) on Viva and Joe Woods (Torquay, UK) on Red may very well find their way to the podium. In addition, expect great things from teams such as Jason Carroll (New York, N.Y.) on Argo, Alex Jackson (Riverside, Conn.) on Leenabarca, Bob Hughes (Macatawa Bay, Mich.) on Heartbreaker, Stuart Simpson (London, UK) on Team Barbarians and Yukihiro Ishida (Tokyo, Japan) on Yasha Samurai.

Event site: www.premiere-racing.com
Class site: www.melges32.com

The 45th SNIM
Photo by Gilles Martin-Raget, www.martin-raget.com. Click on image to enlarge.

SNIM A month before kick-off, the Semaine Nautique Internationale de la Mediterranee - SNIM (Interntional Nautical Mediterranean Week) lifts the veil on the programme for its 45th running, which will take place in Marseilles from April 2th to 5th: new series, a new type of course, participation of the French IRC Champion and free boarding for the public with "Regatta in Sight", the benefits abound for the anniversary of the great international rendezvous of the Easter weekend - hosted for nearly half a century by the Societe Nautique de Marseille - led by its chairman Bernard Amiel.

With two sailing areas - under the direction of Paul Roussange for larger IRC boats in north-Rade and Dominique Berenger for IRC and other one-designs in south-Rade - the competitors will do battle on different types of courses.

New to 2010, an announced fleet of five Class 40 who are set to join in the festivities of the SNIM for the first time. To highlight the potential of these boats designed for offshore racing, the organisers have decided to set up a night race for them from Marseilles to Porquerolles and back, scheduled for Friday 2nd April.

Also guests of honor at the SNIM 2010, alongside the IRC, one design are once again well represented through a series of A 35, A 40, First 31.7, Selection and Open 5.70.

On land, all the members of the Nautique are rallying round to provide the best possible welcome to the 170 boats entered in the SNIM. Though the mooring is free for participants, the real challenge which is to offer dockside places for all competitors can be only acheived through the excellent spirit of cooperation that exists within the Club, whith a lot of owners handing over their moorings during the event. For example, the superb yachts of the "Pole sailing tradition" of the Nautique, which have been grouped on a floating pontoon dock along the quay for a year now, will free up the area to Class40.

Along the docks, 9 tents will be erected to house the "SNIM village », which will also benefit from the 240 square meters of the "Espace Nautique" installations on land, inaugurated in late 2008 on the ground floor of the building facing the famous Floating Club House of the Societe Nautique.

For the second year, a partnership with the Office de la Mer will allow the public from Marseilles to board for free on a large capacity vessel which will make regular return trips out at sea to follow the racing with the "Regatta in Sight" operation.

www.lanautique.com

Marco Nannini Is Entry #13 In The Global Ocean Race
Marco Nannini winning class IRC 3 in the 2009 OSTAR - Photo by Enrico Vazzoler. Click on image to enlarge.

Global Ocean Race The Global Ocean Race (GOR) can announce entry #13 for the 2011-12, double-handed circumnavigation in Class40s. Italian-born, UK-based yachtsman, Marco Nannini, has secured his place on the start line and will be competing against the event's growing international fleet. In the past week, 32 year-old Nannini has bought Class40 Akilaria, Mowgli - the yacht sailed by the British duo of Jeremy Salvesen and David Thomson in the 2008-09 Portimão Global Ocean Race - and can now begin planning for the race: "All efforts will be dedicated to preparing a proper campaign for the Global Ocean Race, which is my ultimate and most important goal," said Nannini today.

Nannini is already an accomplished short-handed sailor competing double-handed in the Rolex Fastnet 2007 and single-handed in the bluQube Solo 1000 race as a qualifier for the 2009 OSTAR, during which he took line honours as well as first place on corrected time onboard Sigma 36 British Beagle in the IRC3 Class (Jester).

For Nannini, the first priority is to get his Class40 afloat and racing. "The short term plan is to launch the boat as soon as possible as I've entered the Shetland Round Britain and Ireland race where a good group of seven Class 40s is entered," he explains. Organised by the Royal Western Yacht Club, the double-handed race starts on 6th June with stopovers in Kinsale, Barra, Lerwick and Lowestoft during which Nannini will race against a formidable line-up including Portimão Global Ocean Race veteran and GOR entry Nico Budel on Mowgli's sistership, Sec Hayai (ex-Beluga Racer) and Alex Bennett's green Class40, Fujifilm.

portimaorace.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 Daniel Charles: In reply to Alistair Skinner's letter. I read plenty of sour grapes from specialists lamenting the 33rd Americas' Cup, the multis were boring, even "remove the novelty factor and you have straight line speed machines that take an age to tack - not good television (I'm talking general consumption here)...". Of course we were all frustrated by the DoG format, and two races are less interesting than three... But the truth is that three hulls are also more fun than one. Bruno Trouble, in an interview, said that the ORMA only lasted two years and that the boat ahead to windward always won: this was incorrect, the ORMA lasted more like ten years, there were real fights all along the courses, and if this racing died it was of self-destruction (not refurbishing a rule which let a boat dominate, and refusing a sponsor). Now I read that these boats take an age to tack: has Alistair Skinner timed USA when she tacked? Has he compared this time with the one taken by a 30m long monohull?

In the now-hallowed 32nd Cup, like in the previous ones, more than 90% of the LVC and AC cup where won BEFORE the start! And you call this suspense? You really believe that "general consumption" is going to enjoy looking at a boat following another one during three hours (even movies are not that long!)? I invited my mother to see one of the two 33rd races. She's 80 and as interested in boats as in camel's sexuality. She was rivetted.

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The Last Word
Failure is unimportant. It takes courage to make a fool of yourself. -- Charlie Chaplin

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