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Berntsson, Brady A Race Short But 1-2 In Con Cup
Long Beach, California, USA: A jolt of intensity, a runaway mark and some unsettled business in the jury room left the 46th Congressional Cup in overnight anxiety after competition lurched through Day 2 Wednesday.

Johnie Berntsson, the defending champion from Sweden, remained unbeaten at 10-0 even though 11 of the 18 round-robin flights had been sailed. Whether he and Italy's Francesco Bruni will have to resail Wednesday's match, which Berntsson thinks he won legitimately, was to be determined at a special hearing before Thursday's racing.

Four-time winner Gavin Brady, in second place at 9-1, will have to resail his match against France's Damien Iehl, which he didn't finish.

The problem developed when, in brisk breeze building from 3 to 12 knots through the afternoon, broke the windward mark loose from its ground tackle in the ninth flight of racing. The yellow inflatable drifted downwind as the two matches approached, led by Berntsson over Bruni. The mark was chased down by the attending mark boat, which quickly pulled it onboard and held its position to serve as the new mark---an acceptable practice in such situations.

Berntsson and Bruni then rounded the mark boat, but Brady and Iehl were waved off the course by an on-water umpire signaling with a hand across his throat that their race was over because of the displaced mark.

A hearing Wednesday night ruled that they would try again Thursday before the scheduled races commence, but Berntsson and Bruni remained unsettled, even though Berntsson finished the race.

Sally Barkow, the event's first woman skipper since 1999, seized her first win, beating still winless Simone Ferrarese of Italy, but she also fought to some close finishes, including a one-second loss to Dave Perry.

Racing will continue through Saturday

Standings after 11 of 18 flights:

Berntsson, 10-0; Brady, 9-1; Hardesty, 7-4; Bruni, 6-4; Perry, 6-5; Iehl, 5-5; Monnin, 5-6; Neugodnikov, 4-7; 1-4; Barkow, 1-10; Ferrarese, 0-11.

www.lbyc.org/html/content.cfm?CID=1170

Looking Ahead
CupInfo.com speaks with Francesco Bruni:

Bruni finished second in the Con Cup in 2009 and then grew the Joe Fly program into the Azzurra team, while the Louis Vuitton Pacific Series morphed into the Louis Vuitton Trophy -- and Bruni's fledgling team took the Cup world by storm, winning the LVT in Nice and finishing third in the LVT in Auckland last week behind only ETNZ and Mascalzone Latino.

Not a bad showing for a skipper whose finish in last year's Con Cup was considered the surprise of the regatta.

Bruni returns to Long Beach this week with Azzura, including tactician Tom Burnham who joined Bruni at this event last year. Back then it was just a one-off from his gig with Quantum's TP52 team, but now it has become a regular ride with the Italian team. Both men are happy to say that Cup employment seems to be on the rise.

"We are happy that we can see some talk about the future," said Bruni. "We know that we will come to a solution very soon. At least there was a winner. The winner is going to make some rules, the loser hopefully will be a little quieter and not try to win it in the court! We see a little bit of a future in front of us.

"There are a lot of interrogative points -- the date, when, where, which boats, etc., but it's much better than it was a year ago when we didn't know if there would ever be an America's Cup again."

Fuil article at www.cupinfo.com

"Fifteen" Wins NSW Etchells Title Powered By Ullman Sails
Ullman Sails The Australian team of David Clark, Andrew "Spot" Smith and Sean Leonard on Etchells "Fifteen" had a commanding win at the 2010 NSW State Championships, finishing 21 points ahead of second place. Powered by Ullman upwind sails, the "Fifteen" team beat out a fleet of 47 boats over a three-day series, February 26-28. The event was sailed off Sydney Harbour Heads on the same race course as the scheduled 2012 Etchells Worlds. The team's win is a solid addition to their scorecard as they prepare for the 2012 Worlds in their home waters.

Ullman Sails - Invest in Your Performance.

www.ullmansails.com

2010 Australian-AIS Sailing Team Announced-Surprises For 2012 Olympics
Australia's top Olympic class sailors continue their campaigns towards Gold medals in 2012 with the announcement of the 2010 Australian/AIS Sailing Team.

The 2010 Australian/AIS Sailing Team includes 11 athletes competing in seven Olympic and Paralympic classes with the group already tasting success this year.

Krystal Weir has returned to the Australian Sailing Team following a year's break and will campaign a Laser Radial in 2010. Weir represented Australia at the 2008 Beijing Olympic Games in the Yngling class and has made the decision to return to her original class, the Laser Radial.

2008 Beijing Olympic champions Elise Rechichi and Tessa Parkinson have made the decision to take an extended break from their Olympic sailing. At this stage their intention is not to compete in London but to return in 2013 and campaign for a second Gold medal at the 2016 Olympic Games in Brazil.

In a major development for the Australian/AIS Sailing Team 2010 will see the Olympic and Paralympic programs come together into one squad with Australia's leading Paralympic sailors becoming AIS scholarship holders.

Selected in the 2010 team are 2008 Beijing Paralympic Games Silver medalists Daniel Fitzgibbon and Rachael Cox who will compete in the Skud 18 class and Bronze medalists Colin Harrison and Russell Boaden who will sail in the Sonar class with Australian Sailing Development Squad athlete Rod Angwin.

The two Australian/AIS Sailing Team Paralympic crews will head to Holland in July for the IFDS World Championships, a major qualification event for the 2012 London Paralympic Games.

The 2010 Australian Women's Match Racing Team will be named following round four of the ISAF Sailing World Cup in France at the end of April. --Craig Heydon in Sail-World.com, www.sail-world.com

Mathew Belcher & Malcolm Page - 470 Mens
Tom Slingsby - Laser
Jessica Crisp - R:SX
Nathan Outteridge & Iain Jensen - 49er
Krystal Weir - Laser Radial
Colin Harrison & Russell Boaden - Sonar
Dan Fitzgibbon & Rachael Cox - Skud 18

www.australiansailingteam.com.au

Stars In The Solent
Photo by TEAMORIGIN / Ian Roman. Click on image to enlarge.

RORC Easter Challenge The RORC Easter Challenge is the first inshore regatta of a busy season of racing with the Royal Ocean Racing Club. A strong line up will be mixing it up on tight Solent courses over the Easter weekend. Seven races are scheduled, aimed at testing the skills and stamina of the hundreds of sailors that will be taking part. The intensity of racing, coupled with free world class coaching, makes the RORC Easter challenge an ideal opportunity to develop a team and over 50 crews are taking full advantage.

For the first time in nearly ten years, a British America's Cup team, Team Origin, will be competing in the Solent. Skippered by sailing's superstar Olympic medallist, Ben Ainslie. Team Origin will be racing Charles Dunstone's TP52, Rio and on board will be the full compliment of the crew, set to compete in the Audi Med Cup series later this year.

Many of the country's bright prospects for the future will be competing for the British Keel Boat Acadamy. Helming TP52, John Merricks II is Tom Smedley. A 5th year medical student at UCL, Tom's greatest sailing achievement to date is winning the European 29er championships. "Tom had a great season with the academy last year." Explained UKBA Racing Manager, Luke McCarthy. "However all of the sailors have had to be achievers to get into the squad. We also have two J 80s racing this Easter with two of our development squad members at the helm; Tom Phipps and Mark Lees. The RORC Easter Challenge is an excellent opportunity for us to bed in new crew for the season. We have a mixture of inshore and offshore racing planned including the Sevenstar Round Britain and Ireland Race."

Interest in the RORC Easter Challenge is always strong because the RORC relax the rules on 'outside assistance' to allow legendary coach Jim Saltonstall and his team of coaches, which include Barry Dunning and Eddie Warden Owen, to interact with the teams and give advice whilst they are racing. A video de-brief by Jim at the end of each day is always well attended and very instructive. -- Louay Habib

More information at the RORC web site: www.rorc.org

Video Series For Seatrack Users: Lesson 1 - Sail Calls
Seatrack The first in a series of videos is now LIVE on the Seatrack website, showing a short piece of footage about 'Sail Selection' using the tactical and navigational software. Highlighting a real life scenario, ('coastal course entered - under a mile to the windward mark - under 2 minutes to the layline'), the coloured chart shows that the 0.75oz symmetric is the sail for the next leg on a starboard pole. Can anyone see the next mark? How long is the leg anyway? Will the 0.75oz hold? The video clearly shows how each customised Seatrack system can make the right selection for you instantly.

To view the video: www.seatrack.co.uk

Lia's Unorthodox Training
Click on image to enlarge.

Lia Ditton Congratulations to Lia Ditton, who has arrived in Antigua after 73 long days at sea. Lia, 29, and fellow oarsman Mick Birchall, 44, a detective inspector, crossed the Atlantic from Tenerife in the Atlantic Rowing Race.

Nothing to do with sailing, or so you might think, but Lia has declared it her preparation for the two-handed Barcelona World Race at the end of this year. The grand plan is to take part in the non-stop race for IMOCA 60s with Channel Islands sailor Phil Sharp.

Just to fill you in, or more likely jog your memory, Lia describes herself as Britain's 'one and only professional sailor-artist'. While a student from the Chelsea School of Art & Design she took part in the OSTAR in 2005, sailing a 35ft Shuttleworth trimaran, Shockwave.

Afterwards she turned the boat into an art project, displaying it next to the Tate Britain gallery in London. She lived on board for 28 days, the same duration as the race.

So good luck to her and Phil Sharp in raising the money they need to do the Barcelona World Race. Read that crazy blog of hers and you'll get an inkling of how much this earnest sporting event will gain from such a wildcard.

As for art, she's thinking of that, too, by reviving another previous idea. She'd like to use some form of sail cloth that can produce tonal frequencies to compose music as she races round the world. -- from Elaine Bunting's blog, www.yachtingworld.com

Lia's blog: oarsomechallenge.co.uk

Royal Lymington Challenge Cup Issues Notice Of Race
The Royal Lymington Challenge Cup Notice of Race, issued today, reveals that the interclub challenge event being held in June has introduced overlapping Class rating bands. In response to feedback from teams wishing to enter, the new limits facilitate flexibility on team selection whilst still offering close racing.

The IRC rating bands are:
Class 1 1.025 - 1.080
Class 2 0.985 - 1.035
Class 3 0.950 - 0.995

Event Chairman Chris Neve explains "While the inaugural Challenge Cup last year was very successful with 8 competitive teams, we have made a significant change to the rating bands for 2010 to allow more teams to participate."

Eight teams have already issued firm expressions of interest and with today's publication of the Notice of Race entries are expected to start to be confirmed by national clubs, which will each select and put forward their three-boat teams. Discounted early entry is available until 30th April

"We are hoping to attract even more clubs this year" continues Chris Neve. "The event is open to competitive yachts and their crews not just from UK clubs but from those from further afield''

The Challenge Cup which is sponsored by Seatrack and supported by Fullers, RIB-It.com, Sanders Sails, Spinlock, Harken and Wight Vodka, will be held from Thursday 3rd to Saturday 5th June. The regatta consists of three days of racing with a combination of Solent navigation and windward-leeward courses in Christchurch Bay.

The crew classification requirements have also changed to reflect the recent changes by ISAF, with the limit now two 'Cat. 3' on each yacht, helming only if they are the majority owner or charterer. The Notice of Race and entry form is now available on the event website.

www.rlymyc.org.uk/challengecup

J European Dream Team Re-United
Click on image to enlarge.

JBoats European Dream Team Les Sables d'Olonne, France: JB Composites in Les Sables d'Olonne, France will take over the J Boats building license from Kingcat. JBC principals Yves Roucher, Arnaud Ringeard and Didier LeMoal bring a wealth of boat-building, corporate and J Boats expertise to the company. This is a "dream team" come true for J Boats and a very exciting development for the entire J network.

Mr. Roucher, former president of Federation Industrial Nautique (French Sailing Industry), has owned several successful boat companies, including ALUBAT, a company he fJB Europe J sailboat production line - Les Sable d'Olonne, Franceounded in 1970 and which later (in 1994) acquired the first license to build J's in France. Mr. Ringeard is president of FAST Groupe, a third generation, family-owned holding company with business interests across many fields including mass transportation, healthcare, eco-cars and even sailing charters. Didier LeMoal is well known to the J community for his 15 year involvement overseeing European J production and sales including project directing the successful launching of the J/109 and J/122.

The good news is the European economy is improving; enewed energy has led to a significant backlog of orders for several models including the J/109, J/97, J/92s and J/80. -- JBoats, jboats.com

West Kirby Hawks Retain Their Uk National Team Racing Crown
Hawks in action - Dom Johnson and Debs Steele. Photo by A.C.M Jenkins. Click on image to enlarge.

West Kirby Team Racing West Kirby Hawks remain RYA National Team Racing Champions after they successfully defended their title in an extremely exciting showdown at West Kirby SC this weekend (20-21 March).

The Hawks sextet of Dom Johnson, Debs Steele, Andy Cornah, Hamish Walker, Ben Field and Tom Foster, went into the Championships determined to hold on to their crown for another year having finally claimed the title in 2009 following a frustrating runners-up finish in 2008.

Seeing off the challenge of 17 of the country's best team racing outfits, all racing in two-person Firefly dinghies, the Hawks romped through Saturdays races and employed some masterful team racing tactics on Sunday to squeeze their way through to the finals and land the Prince Philip Trophy retaining their National Champions title.

Conditions on Saturday were near on perfect with a solid 15-20 knot wind enabling the days full schedule of races to take place.

The full house of 18 teams, equalling some 108 sailors, were split into two leagues of nine, with the top five teams in each league progressing into the Gold League and the remaining teams heading into the Silver.

The next big Team Racing event on the RYA calendar is the Eric Twiname RYA Junior and Youth Team Racing Championships on 16-17 October. Last year's event attracted no fewer than 300 youngsters to Farmoor, Oxford where West Kirby Youth (Youth) and the Suffolk/Hertfordshire Union team Anglian Express (Junior) sailed out victors.

2010 RYA National Team Racing Championships final results: (top six)

1. West Kirby Hawks
2. West Kirby
3. Hilbre Highlanders
4. Royal Thames
5. Exeter Eagles
6. Edinburgh University

www.rya.org.uk

Featured Brokerage
Featured Brokerage Boat 2008 Latitude 46 Tamise 30' Tamise, 115,000 GBP. Located in Lymington, United Kingdom.

'Tamise', Tofinou 9.5, hull no. 54, built in 2008 by Latitude 46 in France to a Joubert Nivelt design. Hull in hand-laid GRP, painted dark blue, structure of frames & stringers for reinforcement. Deck in a vacuumed sandwich GRP construction joined to the hull by lamination and through fastenings. Teak laid deck. Cockpit coamings & cabin sides in mahogany. Hinged companionway hatch in GRP, toerails and tiller varnished mahogany. Lifting fin keel (1.2 / 2.2m draft) in resin infused vinylester with lead bulb fastened by s/s bolts embedded in resin. Electrical system for lifting keel with remote control.

A beautiful example of this classic yacht. Always kept ashore on trailer - no antifouling, like new, launched and sailed on just a few occasions

Brokerage through Charles Watson Marine Ltd.: www.yachtworld.com/charles-watson/

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

The Last Word
Even in the valley of the shadow of death, two and two do not make six. -- Leo Tolstoy

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