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Auckland Stopover For The Volvo Ocean Race
Alicante, Spain: Auckland, New Zealand, is back in the Volvo Ocean Race after a gap of 10 years. The city, which has fielded some of the world's best sailors in the Volvo Ocean Race, last hosted the event in 2001-02. It will stage the leg four finish from Sanya in China and the start of leg five, which will take the fleet into the Southern Ocean once again, round the infamous Cape Horn and up to a finish in Itajai, Brazil.

"This announcement completes the route and our goal of contracting all the ports before the end of March 2010, significantly earlier than in previous race cycles. The preliminary course will be published during April," said Volvo Ocean Race CEO Frostad.

New Zealand has fielded many of the world's greatest sailors, including Sir Peter Blake who competed five times in The Whitbread Round the World Race, which became the Volvo Ocean Race in 2001. He finally won it comprehensively in 1989-90 on the great Steinlager 2.

Grant Dalton, CEO of Emirates Team New Zealand, has also been a prolific competitor in the event, competing six times, being part of the winning crew onboard Flyer in 1981-82, and winning the maxi class with New Zealand Endeavour in 1993-94. Whilst fellow New Zealander Ross Field won the Whitbread 60 division with Yamaha the same year.

More recently, Mike Sanderson drove ABN AMRO ONE to a resounding victory in 2005-06, with Brad Jackson and Stu Bannatyne, as his watch captains. They carried on their winning streak as watch captains onboard 2008-09 winner Ericsson 4 and were jointly name Sailor of the Year at the 2009 Yachting New Zealand Excellence Awards. Along with Mark Christensen, Jackson and Bannatyne are the only sailors to have won the race three times.

The route for 2011-12 is now set and includes: start port Alicante/Spain, Cape Town/South Africa, Abu Dhabi/UAE, Sanya/China, Auckland/New Zealand, Itajai/Brazil, Miami/USA, Lisbon/Portugal, Lorient/France and finish port Galway/Ireland.

Excitement Guaranteed For The Medal Races
Another day of changing winds in the bay of Palma decided the top 10 sailors that will sail the medal race. Sailors were faced again with difficult weather conditions in the bay of Palma. NW conditions, 8 to 12 knots, and many wind shifts put all competitors to the test

The most exciting race tomorrow will probably be in the 470 women in the battle for victory between French team Ingrid Petitjean and Nadege Douroux and Italian sailors Giulia Conti and Giovanna Micol, tied in first and second place respectively. Petitjean said "tomorrow will be a great day". The French sailor who would have liked to sail another race today is aware it will be difficult to beat the Italian team. Giovanna Micol hopes that after "a long day" like today, there will be more wind tomorrow to enjoy good racing and be able to win.

French sailors Pierre Leboucher and Vicent Garos lead the 470 men fleet followed closely by Israeli team Gideon and Eran who still stand a chance of being the winners of the class. Spanish pre-Olympic team Onan Barreiros and Aaron Sarmiento, at only 3 points from the podium, will try their best position to try and take third place from Austrian competitor Belcher.

Javier Hernández from Spain will sail tomorrow as Laser class leader with 8 points advantage over second classified Tonci Stipanovic from Croatia and 11 over New Zealand competitor Mike Bullot, in third place.

In Laser Radial, the victory will probably be decided between Croatian sailor Tina Mihelic and Veronika Fenclova from the Czech Republic while Susana Romero, in third place, still stands a chance to win.

No races were sailed today in RS:X women and men so the overall standings remain the same as yesterday. Italian sailor Alessandra Sensini in the lead followed by Bryony Shaw from Great Britain and Italian sailor Laura Linares. And top 3 places in RS:X men for Greek sailor Byron Kokkalanis, Sahar Zubari from Israel and Tom Ashley from New Zealand.

The Women Match Race final will see Renee Groeneveld's Dutch team against Nicky Souter's team from Australia. Groeneveld won over Sally Barkow's US team and Souter beat Lucy MacGregor's team from Great Britain in the semi-finals. The victory will be tomorrow for the best of five matches.

Victory for second consecutive year for Thierry Schmitter in Paralympic class 2.4MR. Second place has been for British sailor Helena Lucas and third place for Andre Rademaker.

Big Breeze, Big Wins at Audi Sydney Harbor Regatta
Ullman Sails Ullman Sails customers skillfully handled the big breeze in Sydney to secure division wins at the Audi Sydney Harbour Regatta 2010, March 6-7. In conditions gusting up to 25knots, Robert Alpe's Dragon "Indulgence" won its one-design division (and Robert proceeded to win the event's grand prize, a new Audi!). Andrew Waugh's Thompson 8 "Zippier" won the Sportsboat Division, never finishing worse than second place. And after two long-distance races, Paul Clitheroe and crew on Beneteau 45 "Balance" added another win to their season. "Balance" took first place in IRC Division 2, beating a 14-boat fleet.

Invest in your performance.

Rolex China Sea Race Fleet Sets Off For Philippines
Photo by Daniel Forster, Click on image for photo gallery.

Rolex China Sea Race The gods were shining on the Rolex China Sea Race fleet sending them off in a light southeasterly breeze and a fair tide towards the finish off Subic Bay, Philippines, 565 miles distant. Earlier in the day, it was not so promising, but the breeze eventually filled in and the fog burned off to produce a colourful start just off the Royal Hong Kong Yacht Club in Victoria Harbour. The 30-boat fleet started in a 6-8 knot breeze, which increased as the bigger boats approached Shek-O rock. This year, all divisions went off in one start, providing a spectacle with Hong Kong's towering buildings providing a dramatic backdrop.

Racing and cruising division boats were equally aggressive at the start, and with the current pushing boats towards the line, several boats were caught out. Australian Maid misjudged the current, was over the line early, and had to circle back to restart. Once clear of the start line, the fleet had the usual medley of harbour borne Hong Kong traffic to contend with: barges steamed by, business as usual, sampans chugged along laden with cargo, the Star ferry plied its usual route, and local fishing skiffs anchored with lines in the water. After the start, most of the IRC racing division boats split to opposite sides of the harbour, with contrary tactics of where the current and breeze were.

Out of the harbour, the fleet sailed down the Tathong Channel in front of the shoreside temples, and through the Po Toi Islands. By 1504 local time, Geoff Hill's TP52 Strewth (AUS) was leading the fleet, making nine knots, just clear of Hong Kong's outer islands, and heading into the South China Sea. Close behind were Sir Robin Knox-Johnston's Ffreefire 70 (HKG), Ernesto Echauz' Subic Centennial (PHI), and Ray Roberts' Evolution Racing (AUS).

This year is the 25th edition of the Rolex China Sea Race, which was first run in 1962, and has been held every two years since then. In 1972, it was officially recognised by the Royal Ocean Racing Club, and is now run under their prescriptions.

New Race For The Multi 50
The first edition of the Vendee Saint-Petersburg is due to start from Saint Gilles Croix-de-Vie on 16th May with a total distance there and back of 3790 miles. Eight crews will be lining up at the start, including two of the latest racing machines in the class: Actual and Crepes Whaou !

The new route takes in the Atlantic, the English Channel, the North Sea and the Baltic, passing through the territorial waters of 14 countries before the finish in Saint-Petersburg in Russia on around 20th May 2010. The best boats like Franck-Yves Escoffier's new Crepes Whaou ! and Yves le Blevec's Actual could complete the first stage of the race in less than five days at an average speed of 16 knots. The race will be holding a stopover for around ten days in Russia, before the start of the return leg on 31st May 2010, with the finish forecast in the port of Saint-Gilles Croix de Vie on around 4th June 2010.

Eight Multi 50 crews have already signed up for this very first edition of the Vendee/Saint-Petersburg. Alongside Yves Le Blevec (Actual) and Franck-Yves Escoffier (Crepes Whaou !), there will be Herve Cleris (CLM), Erwan Leroux (Fenetrea-Cardinal), Anne Caseneuve (Croisieres Anne Caseneuve), Etienne Hochede (PIR2), Philippe Laperche (Gamin) and Lalou Roucayrol (Region Aquitaine-Port Medoc).

The race is an initiative of the Vendee Council, which - as with the Vendee Globe - has created a public-private partnership for the event. Around fifteen famous firms based in Vendee are joining with the Vendee Council and have invested in this partnership taking up 17% of the share capital.

2010 GP42 Series In The Audi Medcup - Come Ride With Us!
Audi Medcup There are less than 42 days left before the GP42's start their 2010 season in the Audi MedCup Stage 1 event in Cascais, Portugal for 12-16 May. As the teams from last year and the series newcomers prepare their boats for the oncoming season, a new innovation will be introduced for those interested in the boats, the event and the class: onboard guests. For every GP42 Series race in this year's season, each team will be required to take a guest on board who has the unique opportunity to experience firsthand the thrill of Audi MedCup racing.

"This year we have an innovation which I think is fundamental: the onboard guest," says Javier Goizueta President of the GP42 Class. "Thinking of the media, an owner's business-to-business contacts and potential new owners, this is a very powerful tool that we want to take full advantage of."

Those interested in learning more about the GP42 Class and joining in on the fun, contact Class Manager Paolo Massarini at , call him on +39 335 230870, or visit or

Match Race France Skipper Line Up Released
The World Match Racing Tour (WMRT) is the premium global match racing series culminating in crowing the ISAF Match Racing World Champion at the end of 10 international events. This year's Tour will be starting next week in Marseille with 'Match Race France' running from 6 - 11 April at Yacht Club Pointe Rouge. This is the second time Marseille has hosted the WMRT.

Marseille will be catering to the local Tour fans as well as the general public; the racing will be free to view from just 50 metres off Escale Borely Beach and depending on weather conditions the boats will be within touching distance of the break water.

Match Race France's competitor line up includes 12 skippers from 6 different nations. The racing will be intense with the current top five 2009 WMRT standing skippers attending as well as others such as Francesco Bruni from Italy who will be racing fresh from his recent win at the Congressional Cup and is a hot favourite for Marseille.

Match Race France, Official Skipper Line Up:

Adam Minoprio (NZL) BlackMatch
Torvar Mirsky (AUS) Mirsky Racing Team
Peter Gilmour (AUS) YANMAR Racing
Mathieu Richard (FRA) French Match Racing Team
Sebastien Col (FRA) ALL4ONE
Paolo Cian (ITA) Team Italia
Philippe Presti (FRA) French Match Racing Team
Francesco Bruni (ITA) Azzurra
Pierre-Antoine Morvan (FRA)
Bertrand Pace (FRA) Aleph Sailing Team
Gian Luca Perris (MON)

Replica Of Jersey's Most Famous Yacht To Visit Island
Click on image to enlarge.

Westward Westward, Jersey's most famous yacht will return to the Island - at least in spirit - when a perfect replica of T B Davis' fabulous 160-ft schooner visits St Helier Harbour in July. Davis was Jersey's greatest philanthropist whose gifts to his native Island included the Howard Davis Farm (now the States Farm), the Howard Davis Hall (at Victoria College) and, of course, the Howard Davis Park (where the flagstaff is one of Westward's spinnaker booms). Westward was one of the most beautiful examples of the naval architect's craft ever to grace local waters. One of the fastest and most famous of the Big Class racing yachts, Davis successfully raced her at Cowes against King George's Britannia and other Big Class yachts between 1925 and 1935, berthing her by St Helier Yacht Club each winter.

Sadly, five years after Davis died, Westward was scuttled in the Hurd Deep off Alderney, so nearly three generations of Jerseymen have never seen the beautiful yacht that wrote such a fascinating chapter in Jersey's maritime history.

That, however, will change on 21 July when, at the invitation of the Port of Jersey, Eleonora is due to visit St Helier for the very first time.

Built at the Van der Graaf Shipyard in the Netherlands, Eleonora was launched on 31 March 2000, exactly 90 years to the day after Westward was launched at the famous Herreshoff yard at Rhode Island.

Painstakingly planned and executed, this stunning replica was the vision of a Dutch entrepreneur and connoisseur of classic vessels. With the assistance of the Hart Nautical Collections of the MIT Museum, Eleonora's designers and builders were able to pay close attention to the original Herreshoff drawings every step of the way.

Eleonora has exactly the same lines as Westward and was constructed using the same materials.

Island boat-owners are being encouraged to gather off Noirmont to welcome Eleonora on the late afternoon of 21 July when she arrives to take on a pilot and make her way into St Helier Harbour.

Although it will not be possible for Islanders to go on board Eleonora during her visit they will be able to view her at close quarters from the quayside on the Albert Pier on Thursday 22 July, when her elegant lines and massive spars will not only dominate the harbour landscape but also bring back memories of a golden age of yacht racing and a famous Jerseyman who left an enormous impact on his native Island.

Bill Koch Uncorks A Lawsuit
A billionaire collector and yachtsman has uncorked another lawsuit in his 4-year-old battle against fraud in the rare wine business.

William Koch sued the auction house Christie's International in New York on Tuesday, claiming it ignored evidence of fakery in the 1980s when it marketed several bottles of Bordeaux that were purportedly originally owned by Thomas Jefferson.

The suit is the latest in a string filed by Koch over the collection, now regarded by some experts to have been counterfeit.

Koch, who owns an energy company and won the America's Cup in 1992, has been on the warpath over counterfeiting since 2005, when he began to suspect that his "Jefferson" bottles were bogus.

Bearing vintages of 1784 and 1787, the wines fetched record prices when they were auctioned in the mid-1980s. Koch bought four of them for $500,000. The late Malcolm Forbes paid $156,000 for a single bottle.

The collection emerged in 1985, courtesy of German wine collector Hardy Rodenstock, who claimed it had been discovered in a bricked-up cellar in Paris. The hand-blown bottles were engraved with the initials "Th.J." and Rodenstock said he had documents confirming that Jefferson ordered them while serving as the U.S. minister to France.

Koch began investigating the collection after being asked to show his four bottles at Boston's Museum of Fine Art in 2005. Glass cutting experts, he said, subsequently verified that the initials on the bottle were engraved with modern cutting tools not yet invented when Jefferson was alive.

Full article in the Toronto Sun:

Short Tacks
* Earlier this month reported on Endeavour lifting out of the water to begin her 16 month refit at Yachting Developments. Now the yard have kindly provided them with a first look at the time lapse video of this process, which makes for interesting watching.

Prior to lifting out of the water Endeavour docked alongside in the Viaduct. Divers then secured and positioned the slings around her ready to lift her out of the water. The LGC and actual weight was then checked with her lifting briefly out of the water and then being lowered to allow all persons on board to disembark. She then fully lifted out of the water before being loaded onto the freight link vessel before being taken to the Yachting Developments yard, located in Hobsonville, Auckland. Work now underway on her includes new: decks, main engine, generators, carbon fibre mast, sails, deck gear, sailing handling equipment, onboard systems upgrade and a full repaint. In addition to this work the interior will be upgraded and re configured. -- Ellie Brade

* La Trinite Sur Mer, France" A cast of thousands have descended upon the quaint, beautiful seaside village of La Trinite for this Easter weekend. Renowned not only for its premiere sailing event but also for its soothing thassolotherapy spas along the seashore, La Trinite will serve up yet another fantastic weekend of sailing for some of the top sailors in France and the rest of Europe. The J/Fleet is enormous. Of the 430 boats racing, over one-third- about 125- are J's ranging from ten J/24s to ninety-three J/80, a smattering of J/92s to J/97s and over twenty J/105s, J/109s and J/122s. Sailing on Circle B will be the J/105, J/109 and J/80 classes (only J/Boats- a first in French sailing) and on Circle C will be the three IRC Classes- 1-2-3. More than ten nationalities will be represented with crews from Germany, England, Spain, Belgium, Holland, Italy, Russian and Sweden. Within IRC1 with 32 boats starting on the line will be 5 J/122s, including last year's winner Philipe Delaporte's champion PEN AZEN. For more SPI OUEST Sailing information.

* Representatives from the four sailing clubs that make up Yacht Clubs of Weymouth witnessed the signing of the Heads of Agreement with clothing manufacturer Henri Lloyd who is the title sponsor for this year's Weymouth Regatta.

The Henri Lloyd Weymouth Regatta will be split this year over the weekends of the 3/4th and 9/10/11th of July. The dinghy regatta will be jointly hosted at Castle Cove Sailing Club and Weymouth Sailing Club with racing in beautiful Weymouth Bay. The keelboat regatta will start on the following Friday with competitors sailing in the Bay and beyond, and will be jointly hosted by The Royal Dorset Yacht Club and Weymouth Sailing Club.

A full social programme has been formulated between the clubs and, as previous years, it will run in conjunction with the popular "Spirit of the Sea" event. This celebrates the area's close relationship with the sea, the festival brings together a range of sporting activities, cultural events and entertainment.

Henri Lloyd's Sailing Store in Weymouth was opened in November 2005, and shall be in conjunction with their retail chandlery Bussels be offering a 10% discount to all club members associated with the Henri Lloyd Weymouth Regatta, which include Castle Cove SC, Royal Dorset YC and Weymouth SC, during the duration of the regatta.

A first for this year is the online booking facility which also allows competitors the chance to view who else has entered.

Featured Brokerage
Featured Brokerage Boat 1935 CLASSE 6 M Jauge International, EUR 68,000. Located in St. Tropez, France.

Completely restored in 2006.

Brokerage through SMN - Port Grimaud:

Complete listing details and seller contact information at

The Last Word
All paths are the same, leading nowhere. Therefore, pick a path with heart! -- Carlos Castaneda

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