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Stunning Solent Conditions
Photo by Paul Wyeth, Click on image for photo gallery.

RORC Easter Challenge Bright sunshine and decent wind gave the competitors in the RORC Easter Challenge a day to remember. Eddie Warden Owen, Chief Executive of the RORC was out on the water coaching everyday and commented after the conclusion of racing.

"Today was brilliant, stunning weather, decent breeze, shifting both ways, classic west Norwest Solent conditions with the breeze coming down the Solent and out of Southampton Water. Early bias on the left gave way to advantage on the right. Great sailing and a real challenge for the competitors."

IRC Super Zero
TEAMORIGIN Rio won the class by some distance but that is not why they came.

Mike Sanderson, Team Director of TEAMORIGIN, summed up the RORC Easter Challenge, "It's been huge value for TEAMORIGIN to be here, we've had everything from 10 to 30 knots! When we showed up a few days ago we were pretty rough around the edges and by the last race today we were starting to make it happen as a team, for sure a very important team building exercise for us all. The Solent, as ever, has proven itself to be a great training ground with its variety of tides conditions and wind strengths. Many thanks to RORC and all the other competitors for making it such a great event."

IRC Zero
Niklas Zennstrom's Farr 45, Ran, came out on top in a titanic struggle with Anthony O'Leary's Ker 39, Antix.

Conor Phelan's Ker 37, Jump Juice, held on in an epic battle with Christopher Opielok's Corby 36, Rockall III.

In a class of 19 boats, Peter Schofield's HOD 35, Seatrack, worst result was third. An impressive result from a boat designed in 1996.

IRC Three
Adam Gosling's Corby 36, Yes! posted seven wins out of seven.

Quarter Ton Class
Louise Morton's Quarter tonner, Espada, won the Quarter Ton class and obviously a few fans across the world with enquiries about the Espada crew coming from as far away as the west coast of the United States. -- Louay Habib

Full results, video and pictures:

HI FI Repeats Line Honours Win At Rolex China Sea Race
Neil Pryde's Welbourne 52, Hi Fi was a familiar sight leading the fleet again and taking the Line Honours victory, crossing the finish line off Subic Bay, Philippines at 07:36:11 local time. Hi Fi's elapsed time of 67hrs, 26mins shaved close to four hours off their previous record, set in the 2008 race. This is a new benchmark for the Rolex China Sea Race harbour start, a change in 2008 to allow for the start off the Royal Hong Kong Yacht Club in Victoria Harbour. Hi Fi also won the IRC Racing A division overall on corrected time.

Hi Fi's navigator, Will Oxley is a veteran of the 2008/9 Volvo Ocean Race as back-up navigator for Puma Sailing. It was his first time competing in the Rolex China Sea Race, but he was not unfamiliar with the area, having done a lot a research on the course for the Volvo Race. However, he didn't have all of the electronic amenities that many Volvo and offshore sailors take for granted now.

Oxley said, "We only had an Irridium phone, so afraid I'm used to being spoiled and having access to a whole lot of information; this time the gribs (weather files) were okay for the first little while.

"I could get the grib to be correct if I added 140% of the wind, made it three hours earlier and rotated it 40%, so I didn't pay much attention to them. But, using the general understanding of what the weather was doing, we just tried to position ourselves, particularly with this large landmass, to anticipate the breeze shifting in the afternoon as it typically does and then the land breeze filling in. Luckily, we managed to get that correct and so that made a big difference in terms of being able to position ourselves."

Next to finish were the TP52's Ray Roberts' Evolution Racing, crossing the line four hours behind Hi Fi at 9:39:48, followed by Strewth at 12:40:33; Ffreefire 52 is due at 16:30. The rest of the fleet is expected in through the night and tomorrow

15th China (Shanghai) International Boat Show
15th China (Shanghai) International Boat Show Asia's largest boat event with the most overseas exhibitors, China (Shanghai) International Boat Show (CIBS), will launch its 15th annual event from April 8th-11st, at Shanghai Exhibition Center. During the event, nearly 400 overseas and domestic exhibitors will display more than two hundred glamorous world renowned boats and yachts, to show the diversified and amazing maritime leisure culture. The on-water display area alongside the Huangpu River unveiled for the first time last year will be open again this year with double the number of luxury yachts on display compared to the previous year.

Approximately 50 % of the around 400 domestic and international brands are boat and yacht exhibitors, equipment and accessories accounts for around 40%, while lifestyle and relevant services occupy the remaining 10% of exhibitors. The organizer indicates that this will be the 6th and the last time for CIBS to be held at Shanghai Exhibition Center. CIBS will move to the Expo site for next year's event, which is a brand new modern venue to cater for the exhibitors, providing new scale and display patterns to the longest-established and largest boat show in Asia.

As it is the 15th anniversary of CIBS, China Boat Industry & Trade Association, one of the organizers of CIBS, will release the first "2009 China Yacht Industry Report" shortly before the opening ceremony. This report not only reviews last year's changes and development within the industry, but also sheds light on the future trends of China's yacht industry through CIBS, which has grown together with China's yacht industry during the past 15 years.

The Wind Filled In
Photo by Ingrid Abery, Click on image for photo gallery.

BVI Spring Regatta Nanny Cay, BVI: It was one of those mornings when sails look more like hanging laundry than anything else. Wind conditions improved as the second day of racing for the BVI Spring Regatta wore on. Presley King, sailing with Justin Barton on Justice, Bareboat B, is a local sage when it comes to predicting the winds in the BVI. When asked on the dock this morning what he was looking for today, he replied, "Looking for a little more wind. As soon as the moon raise up, it should get more. The moon will raise up after 11."

Although I really didn't understand what Presley was talking about, and not many people I consulted believed his prediction, he was right. After a very slow start to the morning's racing with very light air from the west, the breeze appeared to totally dry up and just when race officers were discussing the efficacy of continuing, the wind filled in from the north-east with a nice breeze, building to 15 knots by the middle of the afternoon.

In Racing A, Titan 15 finished the day with a flawless series of first place finishes over the day's three races, while Vela Veloce dutifully followed in second and Jim Grundy's Bella Pita, a.k.a Scallywag Racing, third.

Only thee points separate the top three boats in Racer/Cruiser F. Puerto Rico's Julio Reguero, who campaigned an International 2.4m for the Paralympic Games in 2008, leads on his J/105, Umakua. The BVI's Peter Haycraft's Pipedream is one point behind with his Sirena 38, Pipedream, and another two points separate them from St. Maarten's Ian Hope-Ross on his Beneteau First 36.7, Kick 'Em Jenny.

Not at the top of the heap in Racer Cruiser Class but first at the weather mark in the second race today, Pat Nolan's J/33, Boomerang, and her all women crew, were leading by a full minute.

Perhaps the tightest race out there this weekend is on the IC24 course. Fred Ruebeck's Team LIME is three points ahead of Fait Lugo on Orion. The top spot keeps switching back and forth and it will be anyone's guess who will be first in class on the podium tomorrow.

Event site:

Trofeo Princesa Sofia MAPFRE
Photo by Richard Langdon/Ocean Images, Click on image for photo gallery.

Trofeo Princesa Sofia MAPFRE Italian sailor Alessandra Sensini is the absolute winner of this 41 Trofeo Princesa Sofia Mapfre, her first event after her silver medal at the 2008 Beijing Olympics.

France and Great Britain lead the results of this new edition of the Sofia Mapfre with five medals for each country. Besides, the French go back home with two golds, one in 470 men and the other in 49er. Spain and The Netherlands also go back home with four medals.

Once again, the absolute winner of the event is an RS:X women sailor. Italian sailor Alessandra Sensini, with a clear dominance throughout the event has become the class and absolute winner followed in second place by 2009 World and European Champion, Spanish sailor, Marina Alabau. Third place on the podium is for Bryony Shaw from Great Britain. Sensini, who had not participated in any event since the 2008 Olympics did not expect to win "I started training again not so long ago", said the Italian sailor whose goal was to be among the Top 5 and "surprisingly, I have won".

The 41 Trofeo Princesa Sofia Mapfre comes to and end and gives way to the Semaine Olympique Francaise in Hyeres, next stop of the ISAF Sailing World Cup at the end of April. The Trofeo Sofia will be back next year with new dates, from 2 to 9 April 2011, to adapt to the ISAF Sailing World Cup calendar.

Final podium positions:

470 Men
1. Pierre Leboucher / Vincent Garos, FRA, 32 points
2. Kliger Gideon / Sela Eran, ISR, 46
3. Onan Barreiros / Aaron Sarmiento, ESP, 47

470 Women
1. Giulia Conti / Giovanna Micol, ITA, 36
2. Ingrid Petitjean / Nadege Douroux, FRA, 38
3. Emmanuelle Rol, Helene Defrance, FRA, 55

1. Edward Wright, GBR, 45
2. Ivan Kljakovic Gaspic, CRO, 46
3. Jonathan Lobert, FRA, 53

1. Emmanuel Dyen / Stephane Christidis, FRA, 66
2. Chris Draper / Peter Greenhalgh, GBR, 76
3. Stevie Morrison / Ben Rhodes, GBR, 83

1. Javier Hernandez, ESP, 52
2. Tonci Stipanovic, CRO, 54
3. Mike Bullot, NZL, 62

Laser Radial
1. Tina Mihelic, CRO, 35
2. Venclova Veronika, CZE, 39
3. Susana Romero Steensma, ESP, 55

1. Fredrik Loof / Johan Tillander, SWE, 35
2. Flavio Marazzi / Enrico De Maria, SUI, 36
3. Alexander Schlonski / Frithjof Kleen, 43

RSX Women
1. Alessandra Sensini, ITA, 30
2. Marina Alabau, ESP, 35
3. Bryony Shaw, GBR, 37

Elliott 6
1. Groeneveld, NED
2. Souter, AUS
3. Barkow, USA

1. Thierry Schmitter, NED, 13
2. Helena Lucas, GBR, 21
3. Andre Rademaker, NED, 21

1. Anatoly Loginov / Andrey Kirilyuk / Alexander Shalagin, RUS, 14
2. Patrick Monteiro / Gastao Brun / Vincent Hoesch, POR, 18
3. Senatorov Vasiliy / Igor Ivashintsov / Michail Senatorov, RUS, 21

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Open 60s In New York Bay
New York, NY, USA: The vessels Estrella Damm and W Hotels have put their strength to the test in an in-shore regatta that took place along the New York Bay, close to the Statue of Liberty, to serve as a prelude to the New York-Barcelona Transoceanic Sailing Record, a new oceanic challenge that will set the first record between the New York and Barcelona.

In a race dominated by the equal strengths of both teams, the W Hotels won the first leg of the in-shore regatta while the Estrella Damm took over the second. Such equality in forces adds excitement to the NY-BCN record, which will commence between April 5th and the 12th, depending on the weather conditions that skippers consider appropriate to achieve the fastest crossing possible.

Organized by the Fundacio Navegacio Oceanica Barcelona (FNOB) in collaboration with the New York City Sports Commission and the support of the New York Yacht Club, the in-shore exhibition had the same IMOCA Open 60 that will attempt to set the NY-BCN Transoceanic Sailing Record: the Estrella Damm, whose skippers are Alex Pella, Pepe Ribes and the American, Stan Schreyer; and the W Hotels with Pachi Rivero, Tono Piris, and Peter Becker.

This Monday, April 5, 2010, starts the meteorological window for the NY-BCN record, which will cover 3,750 nautical miles (4.31 miles) until their destination, Barcelona. However, the skippers are still cautious about the day of departure, "at this moment, it does not seem like Monday will be the day of our departure for the record; perhaps, it will be Tuesday or most likely Wednesday, which gives us a better forecast, although this may change," says Pachi Rivero, skipper of the W Hotels team.

The Estrella Damm and the W Hotels are twin boats of the latest generation, both launched in 2007, which makes this competition a challenge between equals. The team that establishes the record NY-BCN will receive the trophy Principe de Asturias and Girona, especially designed for this record.

Brisbane To Gladstone Yacht Race
Black Jack lost her chance to claim a deserved place in Brisbane to Gladstone Yacht Race history when she sailed into unfavourable light winds south east of Breaksea Spit earlier today.

The Peter Harburg owned and Mark Bradford skippered super fast 20 m ocean racer seemed poised to break the 20 hour 24 minute 50 second race record set by the 30 m super maxi Skandia Wild Thing in 2004 when she sailed above the record average 15.08knots for the first 14 hours.

But unfortunately the wind lost intensity for a critical three hour period forcing her talented crew to accept that the record was safe for another year as they weathered Lady Elliot Island shortly before 3am.

This placed the record breaking target time of 7-24-50 am beyond reach with a further 95 nautical miles to sail.

However despite sailing into a softer wind stream Black Jack still retained her commanding line honours lead while also holding the provisional lead on overall handicap.

She had power sailed away from the fleet to hold a runaway margin of 52 nautical miles over the smaller and equally well sailed Wedgetail which had surprisingly outpaced the Bruce Absolon skippered Nikon Spirit of the Maid in the spinnaker sailing conditions.

A win on handicap would be a deserved reward for the Black Jack crew but the result hung in the balance with the crew of the Bill Wild skippered 12 m Wedgetail expected to improve her claim later today. -- Ian Grant

Seahorse Sailor Of The Month
Last month's winner:

Buddy Melges (USA)
'Duck hunting, ice boating and tinkering in the workshop most days' - Buddy Melges at 80. 'Percy and Bart have a way to go to compete with Buddy's cabinet' - Carol Cronin; 'Percy and Simpson are extremely talented sailors making the most of a huge national Olympic programme, Buddy Melges is a legendary figure who has won in so many big classes and helped so many people along the way. For once I am voting for age over youth' - Frederico Pinheiro.

This month's nominees:

Charlie Pitcher (GBR)
Not only do we have two Masters this month but we also have two Brits and no apologies for that (trying to steer you away from the horrors of Auckland). Years after he moved away from the offshore racing scene, in which he not only played a big part but also brought endless humour to those (of us - ed) lucky enough to sail with him, Pitcher re-emerges as an Atlantic oarsman. 400-miles in front, now that's a win...

Simon Payne (GBR)
Another good 'ol boy. Payne also won the Moth worlds in 2006 and claims only to have gone to Dubai this year to see friends and have fun... A light regatta favoured Hayling Island SC's 'pocket-foiler' and after a nervous start to the final day Payne eventually took the decision that having made the effort he may as well take the title. Another Master - Andrew McDougall - finished as runner-up. There goes the Moth's case for Olympic selection.

Seahorse Sailor of the Month is sponsored by Harken McLube, Dubarry & Musto.

Cast your vote, submit comments, even suggest a candidate for next month at

* Seahorse has a special six issue subscription offer for those who vote and/or comment on the Sailor of the Month... vote and see!

The GP42 Series, On Their Way
Javier Goizueta (ESP), the new GP42 Class President:

"Today, we have five pre-registered five teams commited to complete their entries within the next few weeks: three are Spanish, one is British and one from Italy," Goizueta says. He faces the presidency of the GP42 Class with an interesting season ahead, where he will combine his new role along with the co-ownership of the GP42 Madrid - Caser Seguros (ESP) together with Jose Maria van der Ploeg (ESP). Their 2009 Botin & Carkeek design will face this new season after finishing third overall last year, including their victory of the GP42 Series at the Portugal Trophy.

All the pre-registered teams are in their final stages of preparing for the season, with two committed to compete in the Palma Vela regatta (April 14-18) in order to check sails and the changes made to their boats during the winter. One of these is John Bassadone's (GBR) Peninsula Petroleum (GBR), new into the GP42 Series this year. The British owner bought the Botin & Carkeek ex-Turismo Madrid after competing for the first time on a GP42 during last October's Puerto Calero GP42 Global Cup in Lanzarote.

The other team racing in the Palma Vela regatta will be Roberto Monti's (ITA) AIRISESSENTIAL (ITA), after making some slight changes to their deck layout, and with some new team members and new sails.

Joining these three will be two other boats which have confirmed their participation in the 2010 Audi MedCup Circuit. Both are Botin & Carkeek designs, with one racing last year in Alicante and Cartagena as Iberdrola (ESP), and the other none other than the 2009 Audi MedCup Circuit GP42 Series Champion, Daniel Calero's (ESP) Puerto Calero (ESP).

The Notice of Race for the Audi MedCup Circuit 2010 says that there will be a maximum of 45 Windward/Leeward races for the GP42 Series. The Portugal Trophy, Cascais is the first event of the season, with the official training day scheduled for Wednesday, 12 May, with racing held Thursday 13 May, through Sunday 16 May. On that day we'll know the name of the first event winner of the 2010 GP42 Series. -- Sabina Mollart-Rogerson

Featured Brokerage
Featured Brokerage Boat 1977 62' America Cup Racer 12 Metre Class, EUR 1,100,000. Located in Spain.

The France II was built by Egger for the French association for the America┬┤s Cup. The 12m JI was initially intended for boat racing. She has had several owners and several modifications. The main modifications were initiated by the present owner and after years of labour the boat was transformed into a performance cruising yacht by adding accommodation to the interior, setting up the engine and other machinery in good running order and replacing the rig and masts and superstructure. Down below her exceptional fine mahogany joinery gives an incredible impression of warmth and comfort.

Impressive electronics includes Satcom, Tracvision Satellite fax-TV system, watermaker, generator, reverse cycle heating / air conditioning. Teak deck. Up to date rigging and new sails.

Ready to go anywhere. Probably one of the fastest blue water cruising yachts. The France II is used as private pleasure boat sailed with professional crew. Her general condition is perfect and she can be viewed on the mainland of Spain.Spark

Brokerage through Whites International Yachts (Mallorca):

Complete listing details and seller contact information at

The Last Word
A society that gets rid of all its troublemakers goes downhill. -- Robert A. Heinlein

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