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Mathieu Richard Wins Match Race France
Photo by Gilles Martin-Raget, www.martin-raget.com. Click on image for photo gallery.

Mathieu Richard Wins Match Race France Marseille, France: Ben Ainslie (GBR) TEAMORIGIN took on Mathieu Richard (FRA) French Match Racing Team, the French local in the finals of Match Race France, stage1 of the World Match Racing Tour. Richard took a convincing victory winning both of the final two matches raced under a testing 6-7 knot westerly.

Ainslie sees his time invested in attending WMRT events as a profitable way to keep his match race training fresh, "My ultimate goal for the ISAF World Match Racing Tour events is to improve my match racing skills and rules knowledge". The Tour forms an important ingredient in Ainslie's long term America's Cup ambition with TEAMORIGIN.

Richard heads home from Match Race France with a prize packet of 10,000 Euros. This is a very lucrative reward for five days of racing against some of the world's most esteemed match racers and also provides French Match Racing Team with 25 points in pursuit of the ultimate ISAF Match Racing World Championship title.

This French event has seen a significant elevation of the Tour's profile across social media networks, the communication channel now essential in satisfying the public's thirst for 'real time' sports results. The live blog, newly introduced to the WMRT media machine this year, has been a certain success. It has formed the engine to accelerate the Tour into virtual on line conversations through tweets and Facebook Wall posts. A one hour television show on Match Race France is also being broadcast internationally later this month.

Stage 2 of the WMRT will be run in Langenargen, Germany 19 – 24 May where Mathieu Richard will again be racing.

Overall Standings After Stage 1

1. Mathieu Richard, FRA, French Match Racing Team, 25 points
2. Ben Ainslie, GBR, TEAMORIGIN, 20
3. Francesco Bruni, ITA, Azzurra, 15
4. Paolo Cian, ITA, Team Italia, 12
5. Sebastien Col, FRA, ALL4ONE, 10
6. Adam Minoprio, NZL, ETNZ/BlackMatch Racing, 8
7. Philippe Presti, FRA, 6
8. Torvar Mirsky, AUS, Mirsky Racing Team, 4
9. Pierre-Antoine Morvan, FRA
10. Bertrand Pace, FRA, Aleph Sailing Team
11. Peter Gilmour, AUS, YANMAR Racing
12. Gian Luca Perris, MON

www.wmrt.com

New York To Barcelona
The first signs of a slow down are with the two Barcelona IMOCA Open 60's as they start to feel the effects of a ridge of high pressure which may prove critical in the quest to win this New York to Barcelona Transoceanic Sailing Record Challenge.

Since Estrella Damm and W Hotels left New York early on Thursday afternoon, the first thousand miles have been covered at close to maximum speed, recording consistently high averages. In the 24 hours into yesterday (Saturday) evening the pace was only 38.7 miles off the 24 hour record mark set by Alex Thomson and Andrew Cape in 2007 on the IMOCA Open 60 Hugo Boss.

But as Sunday pushes on for the two crews the winds have been easing, bringing with it more sail changes and the prospect of traversing the lighter winds of the high pressure ridge, before a long thrash close reaching down the Atlantic to get to the more favourable breeze on the south side of a relatively static, cut off low pressure system. It is estimated this could take them as far as a point midway between the Azores and Madeira, but the speeds are expected to be quick all the way to Gibraltar.

The immediate ridge of high pressure may allow some compression between the Open 60 duelists. W Hotels was a little more than 16 miles behind Estrella Damm this afternoon, but co-skipper Pachi Rivero confirmed that he is very happy with their positioning relative to the leaders and that they will ensure they follow their own strategy to get across the lighter winds zone. Whoever breaks free first could seize a big advantage.

While W Hotels admitted to a minor slow down during the previous day, Pepe Ribes of Estrella Damm told today's radio conference that they had a hairy few minutes during a sail change yesterday evening when the autopilot lost its signal and sent them spiraling into a Chinese gybe. That took them some time to tidy up and get back on their course, but the downtime has had little net effect on their regular lead over W Hotels.

www.ny-bcn.org

Star Class Western Hemisphere Championship
Nassau, Bahamas: The Star Class Western Hemisphere Championship returns to one of its favorite venues, The Nassau Yacht Club and the great winds of Montague Bay. Racing begins on April 13. The Star Class has held two World Championships and a dozens WHC in Nassau, Bahamas. The consistent winds (20 knots plus!) and huge waves are a paradise for Star sailors. Surfing down 12-foot waves in big breeze is exhilarating!! Planing a Star for 200 meters and more is an experience Star sailors savor. Plus, the clear water offers visibility to depths of over 25 feet.

The Nassau Yacht Club is the home of Class Commodore Sir Durward Knowles. Elected Class Commodore in 1982, he is the longest serving Commodore in class history. He was Knighted by Queen Elisabeth II in 1996. He also won the Star World Championship in 1947 and then a Gold Medal in the Star during the 1964 Olympics. At 92 years old he is still an inspiration for all sailors, with his sailing and his humor. His generous support of many charities in the Bahamas is far reaching. The Star Class is indeed honored to have him as Commodore.

Past winners in Nassau include: Paul Cayard, John MacCausland, Andrew Menkart, Mark Reynolds, and Sir Durward Knowles. This year's list of talented Star sailors include: Mark Reynolds, George Szabo, Richard Clarke, Andrew Campbell, Luca Modena, Mark Mendelblatt, and Hans Spitzauer.

Class: www.starclass.org
Event: star2010.nassauyachtclub.org

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.

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! Travel arrangements for race teams and guests by or by phone +44 020 7717 1670

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

Further information www.icesun.is

TNZ And Real Club Nautico Palma To Enter 2011-12 Volvo Ocean Race?
According to the Spanish sailing website Gaceta Nautica, based in Palma de Mallorca, it appears that Team New Zealand and the Real Club Nautico Palma will enter the 2011-12 edition of the Volvo Ocean Race, joining their forces with the financial backing of the Spanish footwear company Camper, also based in Palma.

Always according to the same article, the final agreement was signed in Spain on Wednesday and the joint Kiwi-Spanish project will be presented in a press conference next Monday in Palma.

Finally, the author of the article states that Camper's financial investment will be "very high" and according to his own estimate it is approximately 20 million euros. -- Pierre Orphanis in Valencia Sailing, valenciasailing.blogspot.com

Citing this spanish language article in Gaceta Nautica:
www.diarioderegatas.es

Pedro Galvan Joins Volvo Ocean Race
Alicante, Spain: Pedro Galvan Paris (35) has joined the Volvo Ocean Race as Marketing and Communications Director. Galvan was formerly Chief Marketing Officer of Euroleague Basketball for over five years and during this period he was also a member of the Board of Directors at ESA (European Sponsorship Association).

He has an exceptional background in Strategic and Operative Marketing as well as in Sports Marketing, having ESADE and IESE degrees. He has also taught in several premier business schools and spoken at conferences on sports marketing.

During his time at Euroleague Basketball Galvan has focused heavily on the sports marketing and partnerships agreements, especially concentrating on the brand building experience.

"I think the Volvo Ocean Race has huge potential to increase its growth on the world's stage as a premier sporting event and I am looking forward to being an active part of this," commented Galvan. "I want to increase awareness of the race for all audiences across the board, not only for the sailing fans but also for the general public.

"The race has such a capacity to capture the hearts and imaginations of people and we want to spread that globally as we did at Euroleague Basketball."

www.volvooceanrace.com

Leg 4 Fremantle-Singapore: Majan Is On Her Way
After a busy and very successful Australian stopover, Oman Sail's A100 trimaran 'Majan' left the dock this morning, en route to Cape Leeuwin where she will embark on the penultimate leg of the Indian Ocean 5 Capes Race course that the Majan crew are tracing out for the first time. As media crew Mark Covell reported by phone shortly after having hoisted the sails, "We are sailing in bright sunshine, on a very bumpy windward beat towards Cape Leeuwin, with Australia on our port side." The Majan boys are in for a few rough hours before being able to head North with the wind gently pushing them!"

The 15-day stopover has seen a lot of activity aboard Majan, with some technical refinements being implemented, but mostly an impressive array of guests, spectators and VIPs turning up to see the giant trimaran up-close and to learn more about the Indian Ocean 5 Capes Race ahead of the first official race planned for 2012.

Majan will have to re-cross the longitude of Cape Leeuwin in order to get the clock ticking on that fourth leg, since the Indian Ocean 5 Capes Race course is strictly a "cape to cape" affair! As Sidney Gavignet explains, "It will take us a good 10 hours to get there, with the wind on the nose. It will not be very fun, but it's good to study the behaviour of the boat upwind. The following portion should be more pleasant, with downwind conditions for a few days. From Sunday night, the breeze seems to vanish. The end of the leg might be a bit on the quiet side." Majan will head North, leaving Australia to starboard before taking the Sunda Strait, separating Java and Sumatra then crossing the Equator and finally arriving in Singapore. The initial ETA is between the 19th and the 21st of April.

www.majan-a100.com

Seahorse May 2010
What's in the Latest Edition Of Seahorse Magazine

Seahorse letters
Marvellous development... but not for everyone

Barcelona World race - And then there were 10
Jocelyn Bleriot points out that as the girls sign up it's actually 20...

Olympic and small boat news - Evolution (not revolution)
Skiff champion Rob Brown catches up with sailmaker Michael Coxon and this year's JJ Giltinan Trophy frontrunners

Design - Into the fray
About time... Britt Ward describes Farr Yacht Design's first move into the Class 40

Seahorse build table - Little stormer
Nicolas Goldenberg can get you on that Mini Transat start line for less than you may think

Sailor of the Month
A month for perseverance... and perspiration

www.seahorse.co.uk/shop/subs

Te Kumete O Te Mona Nui
Photo by Chris Cameron, www.chriscameron.co.nz. Click on image for photo gallery.

Te Kumete O Te Mona Nui For the first time ever four traditional vaka will assemble in the Waitemata Harbour to make a stand for the Pacific Ocean.

On Sunday April 11th four vaka will sail in Te Kumete O Te Moana Nui, a regatta in the Waitemata Harbour, and then leave Auckland on Wednesday April 14th for a Pacific Ocean Voyage to French Polynesia, Cook Islands, Samoa, Tonga and Fiji. In 2011 seven vaka will unite in Auckland to undertake a longer pan-Pacific voyage to Hawaii via French Polynesia.

A fleet of vaka has not set sail across the Pacific for more than 1,000 years. The vaka, all built in Auckland, successfully blend traditional Pacific craftsmanship with modern boatbuilding techniques. This melding of the modern and traditional is a metaphor for of how we should treat our environment - linking the past with the future and reconnecting the Pacific peoples utilising the best of every culture and generation. It's time to make a change.

The events' aim is therefore to raise awareness of the environmental issues that face the Pacific Ocean, as well as recapture traditional Pacific voyaging skills and re-establish cultural links between the countries that share the Pacific.

The four vaka taking part in Sunday's regatta and the 2010 ocean voyage are: Te Matua a Maui (New Zealand crew), Hine Moana (Western Samoa, Vanuatu, Tongan crew), Uto Ni Yalo (Fijian crew) and Maramaru Atua (Cook Islands crew). Once in Tahiti a full Tahitian crew on Faafaite will join the fleet. Two further vaka (making a total of seven) have also been built and will take part in the 2011 voyage.

www.infonews.co.nz

Les Voiles De Saint-Barth
Photo by Christophe Jouany / Les Voiles de Saint-Barth. Click on image to enlarge.

Les Voiles De Saint-Barth After three days of racing on various courses, which were physically and tactically demanding, Luc Poupon and the race directors scheduled a race all the way around the island of St. Barts to close this first highly successful edition of the Voiles de Saint-Barth. A 22-mile long race between the rocks in a trade wind that remained strong throughout the week. In order to ensure that the festive atmosphere of the event was respected, the 23 yachts taking part all lined up on the same starting line at the same time at 1100 hrs to be given the off.

As soon as the start procedures got underway, a huge tropical squall meant that the race area and the crews were drenched. A few minutes later, the skies brightened and as is often the case it suddenly went flat calm in the entrance to Gustavia harbour and on the start line. The yachts waited for a while with their sails flapping and the race directors launched the start procedures again, as the trade wind made its presence felt again with an 18-knot easterly blowing. The final clearance buoy set up less than a mile from the start saw a huge traffic jam build up, with the two giants deciding to come in on different tacks, Sojana on starboard and Rambler on the port tack. The tone was set, and this final race of the Voiles de Saint-Barth was underway with the same thrilling competition as on the previous races this week.

In just two hours, the impressive Reichel/Pugh-designed Rambler completed the course that was very tactical because of all the marks. Dominating throughout winning four times in four races, George David's men remained modest in their triumph, and as they crossed the finishing line they were thinking of the Australian, Peter Doriean, their friend, who recently died in a tragic accident. As the boat's tactician, the American Ken Read, explained earlier, the best way for the twenty men that make up the crew could pay homage to their team mate was to do their best throughout this event. The big ketch Sojana tried every day to keep up with the fast pace set by the American Maxi. The trade wind also helped her to show her full amazing potential. In vain. The speed difference with the Farr designed boat was simply too great for Peter Holmberg's men, who included the French sailors Loick Peyron, Lionel Pean and Jacques Vincent, to hope to achieve a win. However, the gap between the boats was not that huge and today only ten points separated them.

Full results of all classes at www.lesvoilesdesaintbarth.com

China (Shanghai) International Boat Show Charity Regatta
Light winds, grey skies and low visibility didn't deter 30 crews taking to the water on Dianshan Lake, west of Shanghai for the China (Shanghai) International Boat Show Charity Regatta in aid of autistic children.

Special note should be made of the teams from Shanghai Boat & Yacht Club (SBYC) who had to set off very early from their base across the lake from the event to ensure they arrived on time for the racing.

The wind eventually filled in enough to give light but fairly steady breezes which were more than enough to keep the crews active and alert throughout the day.

There were three classes; the Optimists for the younger sailors, the monohulls, the largest class by far and the multihulls.

All classes were racing on the same piece of water and one unusual instruction in the Notice of Race was that the Optimists, the children's class, were to be given right of way, even if they should be the give way boat.

The youngsters were incredibly unfazed by boats sometimes much bigger than them passing very close to them, often holding their course determinedly even when a boat many times their size passed within less than 30cms from them.

In the Optimist Class, Qu Yuan from Ironrock Sailing Club in Xiamen once more made the long trip north, this time to try and defend the title he won in 2009. And once more it was worth his trouble as he carried away the top prize beating keen competition.

In the monohulls it turned out to be another worthwhile journey but this time for two sailors who had an early stat from across the lake. SBYC club members in their RS Vision beat the two quarter tonner keelboats from Saimeng Water Sports Club for top spot.

Making her racing debut was the brand new Hanse 320 first of its marque in China, Yang Li Tian's Niu Niu that was only launched the weekend before and the morning of the race saw riggers up the mast fitting the masthead instruments. The effort was rewarded with a line honours finish in the final race.

Of course the true beneficiaries of the day was the Silent Angel Kindergarten for Autistic Children and the best part was that by having fun the Chinese sailors also benefited those less fortunate than themselves. -- Alistair Skinner

CYCA Announces ORCi Division for the Blue Water Pointscore
The Cruising Yacht Club of Australia has announced today that an ORCi Division will be included in its prestigious Blue Water Pointscore 2010/2011 Series, which starts with the Audi Sydney Gold Coast Yacht Race on Saturday 31 July 2010.

The Blue Water Pointscore consists of seven offshore races including the Audi Sydney Gold Coast Yacht Race, Rolex Sydney Hobart Yacht Race and the Audi Sydney Offshore Newcastle Yacht Race with the champion being determined using IRC ratings.

The Tasman Performance Series is also run in parallel to the Blue Water Pointscore for those yachts sailing under a PHS handicap.

Rear Commodore and Chairman of the Sailing Committee Garry Linacre said that the decision to include an ORCi division in the Blue Water Pointscore was in response to the increasing number of yacht owners with a valid ORCi racing certificate. "The popularity of the ORCi division in last year's Rolex Sydney Hobart, together with the increasing number of yachts owners with valid certificates, prompted the decision by the Sailing Committee to include an ORCi division in the Blue Water Pointscore."

"The ORCi Division of the Blue Water Pointscore will be known as the Cape Byron Series." "The CYCA has always had a policy to ensure that yacht owners are provided with adequate information regarding popular rating systems, so that they can make an informed decision. ORCi divisions will be introduced as deemed necessary in other offshore races conducted by the CYCA," Rear Commodore Linacre added.

Yachts competing in the ORCi division of the Rolex Sydney Hobart 2010 will be vying for the Charleston Trophy, which will be awarded to the overall winner of the division. The trophy has been donated by Charles Davies' family and the Royal Yacht Club of Tasmania.

cyca.com.au

Featured Brokerage
Featured Brokerage Boat 2006 X-Yachts X-55, EUR 799,000. Located in the Netherlands.

RoXanne is a 55 foot performance cruiser sailing yacht of Danish quality, built by X-Yachts in Haderslev, delivered in July 2006. She is ready for ocean cruising or circumnavigation. The X-55 was voted European Yacht of the Year 2007. She has had very positive reviews in leading yacht magazines and scores top rank in the American analist Ted Brewer's comfort formula. The reason for this is the combination of her slim line, long waterline and smart weight placement below the waterline, that makes her very comfortable and seaworthy eventhough she is light weight. Sail critic Henk Bezemer wrote in the Dutch magazine Zeilen "The X-55 is a beautiful ship that promises to solve the classic dilemma between comfort, safety and speed."

Brokerage through X-Yachts Holland BV: www.yachtworld.com/x-yachtsholland/

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

The Last Word
A wise man proportions his belief to the evidence. -- David Hume

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