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Volvo Ocean Race Leg 5 Start Postponement
Due to Tropical Cyclone Pam, Volvo Ocean Race organisers have decided that the Volvo Ocean 65 boats will not leave Auckland for Itajaí earlier than 14:00 NZ time / 01:00 UTC on Monday March 16.

A final decision will be made and communicated no later than 12:00 NZDT on Friday March 13 (23:00 UTC on Thursday 12 March) on whether the delay will be to 14:00 NZ time on Monday March 16 or later.

The communication will also include Sunday's revised event programme.

The official skippers press conference will be held tomorrow Friday March 13, with the six team skippers in Auckland's Viaduct Events Centre. There will be an opportunity to enquire on the revised Leg 5 start plans tomorrow at 15:00 during the media session with CEO Knut Frostad.

Hurricane Force Horn
Click on image to enlarge.

Cape Horn On Day 70 of the Barcelona World Race, Jorg Riechers and Sebastien Audigane revealed that they encountered 70-knot gusts after rounding Cape Horn yesterday.

Speaking in video conference today the Renault Captur skippers spoke of their relief at surviving what Audigane, who has now rounded the Horn four times, called "The most stressful conditions I have seen in 25 years."

For German co-skipper Jorg Riechers, his first rounding of the landmark transpired to be the most severe Cape Horn crossing in the Barcelona World Race's history. Riechers commented today, "We survived it. It was not easy."

"Rounding Cape Horn was pretty easy. We had 35-40kts of wind. And just after the Cape, we thought OK, it is going to be easy. No stress. But one mile after Cape Horn came the first gust, 70kts of wind, so the boat was lying flat with the third reef in the main and the J3. So from there we were a b it scared, we bore away and rolled up the J3, and continued with the triple reefed mainsail. And still we surfed at 24 to 25kts. The seas were very white and very steep. In the end it was pretty scary. So for my first rounding of Cape Horn it was a big one.

At the front of the fleet, Cheminees Poujoulat has entered the North Atlantic tradewinds. Now just 2,600 miles from Barcelona, Bernard Stamm and Jean Le Cam have exited the Doldrums and are sailing in north-easterly winds of around 14 knots as they make miles to the north.

Second-placed Neutrogena, although some 1,300 miles to the south, has chipped another 100 miles off the leaders' advantage, sailing consistently 1-2 knots faster than third placed GAES Centros Auditivos.

The last remaining boat in the South Pacific, Spirit of Hungary, is approaching the edge of a large low pressure system that has seen them consistently sailing in 40-plus knots.

Rankings Wednesday 11th March 2015 at 1400hrs UTC
1. Cheminees Poujoulat (B Stamm - J Le Cam) at 2712.2 miles to finish
2. Neutrogena (G Altadill - J Munoz) + 1342.9 miles to leader
3. GAES Centros Auditivos (A Corbella - G Marin) + 1544.1
4. We Are Water (B Garcia - W Garcia) + 3019.1 miles to leader
5. One Planet One Ocean & Pharmaton (A Gelabert - D Costa) + 3067.0
6. Renault Captur (J Riechers - S Audigane) + 3840.3
7. Spirit of Hungary (N Fa - C Colman) + 5643.8 ABD Hugo Boss (A. Thomson - P. Ribes)

Exceptional Opening Day
The opening day of the Extreme Sailing Series, Act 2 Muscat, delivered an afternoon of perfect racing conditions, as the eight-strong Extreme 40 fleet flew around the coastal racecourse in Muscat, Oman, relishing the North Easterly breeze that filled in from eight to 16 knots.

With six races complete, the stand out team for the day was undoubtedly home boat The Wave, Muscat, with British Olympian Leigh McMillan on the helm joined by two-time British Olympic gold medallist Sarah Ayton.

Aytons's clear, concise tactics onboard saw the team sail a smart course, with the fastest boat speed downwind which led them to the podium in five out of six races, according to the SAP Sailing Analytics. The only blemish on an otherwise near-perfect score line came in the second race, after a tight rounding at the first windward mark with Red Bull Sailing Team, which resulted in a penalty and a last place finish.

With a storm due to blow over the city tonight, Race Director Phil Lawrence is optimistic that we will see another day of idyllic 16knot breeze tomorrow for day two in Muscat, as the fleet move into the stadium and the event opens to the public.

Extreme Sailing Series Act 2 Muscat standings after Day 1, 6 races (11.03.15)

1. The Wave, Muscat (OMA) Leigh McMillan, Sarah Ayton, Pete Greenhalgh, Ed Smyth, Nasser Al Mashari, 50 points
2. SAP Extreme Sailing Team (DEN) Jes Gram-Hansen, Rasmus Køstner, Thierry Douillard, Mads Emil Stephensen, Brad Farrand, 46
3. Oman Air (OMA) Stevie Morrison, Nic Asher, Ted Hackney, Ed Powys, Ali Al Balashi, 44
4. Red Bull Sailing Team (AUT) Roman Hagara, Hans Peter Steinacher, Jason Waterhouse, Shaun Mason, Stewart Dodson, 43
5. GAC Pindar (GBR) Seve Jarvin, Ian Williams, Marcus Ashley-Jones, Tyson Lamond, James Wierzbowski, 35
6. Gazprom Team Russia (RUS) Igor Lisovenko, Phil Robertson, Garth Ellingham, Alexander Bozhko, Aleksey Kulakov, 34
7. Team Turx powered by Kaya Ropes (TUR) Mitch Booth, Edhem Dirvana, Selim Kakış, Diogo Cayolla, Matteo Auguadro, 31
8. Lino Sonego Team Italia (ITA) Lorenzo Bressani, Enrico Zennaro, Gabriele Olivo, Tom Buggy, Stefano Ciampalini, 29

Dubarry Ultima - Classic Craftsmanship
Dubarry Ultima It's been said of Ireland that it's a lovely country, just needs a roof. True, we get more than our fair share of rain from the storms that barrel in from the North Atlantic, but it's not so bad - it's not for nothing that we're known as the Emerald Isle.

In this part of the world we're also well used to making our living on the sea, in the sturdy Galway Hookers built by hand with traditional tools by local boat builders. These bluff-bowed gaff cutters have plied their treacherous trade on the often vengeful waters of the Bay for over 200 years. If ever there was a place where folk would appreciate a quality traditional sea boot - and had the craftsmanship to make one - it's here.

So it's here, in the town of Ballinasloe, just inland of Galway Bay, that Dubarry started making boots in 1937. We've honed our traditional boot-making virtuosity, found sources of the finest quick-drying, long-lasting leathers, and perfected the technology behind a warm, waterproof classic boot with award-winning grip. What else could we call the world's best traditional sea boot, other than Ultima?

Dubarry Ultima - Where will you go in yours?

Team Nz's Foiling Breakthrough - HPYD5
A foiling breakthrough was one of the early and critical elements that helped drive Emirates Team New Zealand to near-success at the America's Cup in San Francisco in 2013.

The Kiwi boat was the first contender for the 34th Cup to achieve stable 100 per cent foiling performance but the defending Oracle Team USA ultimately retained the Auld Mug in a winner-take-all 19th race.

This week at the 5th High Performance Yacht Design conference in Auckland during the Volvo Ocean Race stopover, Burns Fallow, part of the four-man ETNZ aerodynamics team responsible for the impressive wing sail, shared the research and design methodology that along with foil design and other work contributed to the race boat's performance.

Nick Hutchins, Design Director at ETNZ, Steve Collie, Harold Youngren and Fallow comprised the aero team. Fallow presented their paper "Aerodynamic Design Development of AC72 Wings.

The replacement of the traditional mainsail with a wing was expected to be a major aerodynamic design challenge requiring a wide range of new expertise, Fallow said.

"As it turned out the design process involved some new tools and tricks but was largely a refinement of computational approach and methods used in the 32nd America's Cup." -- Keith Taylor

Read more:

RORC Easter Challenge: Free Boat Speed
While it is always tempting to spend money on new sails or other go-faster widgets, coaching is often overlooked by amateur crews as a means of gaining boat speed through improved trim and set-up or just generally getting around the race course in a more efficient, slick manner.

One option is to hire your own coach. Another is to take part in the RORC's UK season opener, the RORC Easter Challenge, taking place over the Easter Bank Holiday weekend (3rd to the 5th April), where some of the country's leading experts will be on the water to offer crews advice. This might be general observations, but crews are also encouraged to ask the coaches to focus on any specific aspects they feel in need of attention. And all of this is FREE to competitors.

As always, the RORC Easter Challenge coaching team will be led by uber-coach Jim Saltonstall, ably assisted by RORC CEO and former America's Cup coach Eddie Warden Owen, plus Mason King. After making their successful debut at the event last year, the Easter Challenge will also see the return of North U Regatta Services, represented by sailmaker/coaches Chuck Allen and Andreas Josenhans, who are flying across from the USA especially for the event.

The Easter Challenge is unique in the RORC calendar in that RRS 41 - Outside Help is waived to permit coaches to come on board during racing or, equally, crew to jump on to a coaching RIB to see their set-up from off the boat.

Crews looking for coaching are advised to let the RORC know in advance if there are any specific aspects of their sailing, sails or trim that they wish to have examined. -- James Boyd/ RORC Easter Challenge Race Reports  

ISAF and IOC Discuss Rio Water Conditions
On Friday 6 March ISAF President Carlo Croce and ISAF Vice-President Scott Perry visited the International Olympic Committee (IOC) where they met with IOC President Thomas Bach and members of the IOC staff to discuss the shared concern about pollution in Guanabara Bay, Rio de Janeiro, Brazil where the Rio 2016 Olympic Sailing Competition is due to be held.

The concern of both the IOC and ISAF centres mainly on the physical objects in the water which can affect the outcome of competition and the contamination of the water which can affect the health of the competitors.

Both the IOC and ISAF are determined that no effort should be spared in addressing both these problems. Representatives of ISAF will be in Rio during the week of 9 March to determine what steps are being taken by the relevant Brazilian authorities to deal with this urgent matter.

The Rio 2016 Olympic Sailing Competition will take place at the Marina da Glória, Rio de Janeiro, Brazil and will feature 380 athletes competing across ten events.

Racing is scheduled to take place from 8-18 August 2016 and the competition format for all events is fleet racing.

* Rio de Janeiro's government has turned to a high-technology Dutch institute to help it try to better collect floating garbage in Guanabara Bay, the sailing venue for the 2016 Olympic Games, as officials face severe criticism over the polluted waters.

While officials hope the effort will help them avoid embarrassing incidents during the games, like boats crashing into floating debris, it does not combat the more pressing problem of extreme sewage pollution in the waters.

Lumijarvi Captures Early Match Race Title
Finland's Olli-Pekka Lumijarvi came out on top at the Early March Match Race after two days of sun and strong breeze in Marina di Scarlino, Italy.

Two days of spring weather conditions and a strong North-Eastern breeze marked the second ISAF Grade 3 match racing event in 2015, organized by Club Nautico Scarlino.

Eight teams from five nations faced off in Maremma racing on the Beneteau 750s.

The event win went the way of Finnish Lumijarvi, who went through the event undefeated with seven round robin wins and a dominant semi final performance.

Italiy's Michele Mazzotti was second, and in third place was Armando Miele.

Caroline Leonard
Dublin Bay Sailing Club (DBSC) is mourning the loss of its former vice-commodore Caroline Leonard, a stalwart of the Dun Laoghaire yacht racing scene who died yesterday.

Caroline, a member of the Royal Irish Yacht Club since 1991, was for many years the mainstay of DBSC racing, first as a committee member, and then as its Rear Commodore and later Vice Commodore. In more recent times, she was the team leader for the Club's committee boats, enjoying particularly the Club's winter racing.

At its Dun Laoghaire clubhouse, the Royal Irish ensign is displayed at half mast in honour or her memory.

This evening, DBSC Spring Chicken Series race organiser Fintan Cairns led tributes to Caroline, a big supporter of the winter series. Her DBSC clubmate told the 38-boat Spring Chicken fleet 'It is with great sadness that I inform you of the passing of one of our own on Freebird, Caroline Leonard - wife of Henry,our RO and mother of Kevin, our results man. Caroline was the "crew boss" on Mac Lir and Freebird for many years and almost from the start of our winter racing was a great supporter, helper and friend. She will be greatly missed by us all. Our sincerest and heartfelt sympathy goes out to Henry, Kevin and the rest of the family'

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The Last Word
There are weapons that are simply thoughts. For the record, prejudices can kill and suspicion can destroy. -- Rod Serling

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