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Hublot Palmavela
Photo by Nico Martinez, www.nicomartinez.com. Click on image for photo gallery.

Hublot Palmavela Palma De Mallorca, Spain: British "Magic Carpet", Majorcan "Container" and Swiss "Artemis" are the first leaders of this year's Hublot PalmaVela after a challenging day of races due to the little wind, in spite of which one race could be run. The Maxi Wally, TP52 and Mini Maxi classes raised the curtain today, whereas more than a hundred boats belonging to the RI, ORC, Classic, Platu 25, Flying Fifteen and J-80 classes will join competition tomorrow.

Today's start was due at 12:00, but the committee decided to postpone it, which resulted in a half an hour delay with regard to the original schedule. When the TP 52 and Maxi fleets reached the Delta Area, opposite to the Arenal, the clouds and the cold persisted and prevented the wind from building. It was not until half past two when Arianne Mainemare's committee gave the signal that announced the start of the competition.

In the TP52 class, Torbjorn Tornqvist's "Artemis" was at the lead from the very beginning. In the first race the Swedish passed "Cristabella" after a good start of British John Cook's boat. But then "Artemis" managed to open a gap and moved up to the first position, where they remained till the end of the race.

In the Mini Maxis, Udo Schutz and his "Container" were at the lead from the beginning to the end. Second was Sir Peter Odgen's "Jethou", and third was Monaco flagged "Allegre". The wind dropped after the day's first race, and the committee decided not to run any more races until Friday.

www.palmavela.com

Mixed Fortunes In The Pelagos Yachts Race
Fortunes waxed and wained with the wind during the second day of racing in the Oyster BVI regatta on Wednesday 14th April for the Pelagos Yachts Cup race. Samantha Simmonds, who cashed in her career as a London based financial lawyer six weeks ago to sail the seven seas aboard her 16 year old Oyster 55 'Ostrika' , ended the day believing the wind gods were well and truly on her side, but Midge Verplank and his crew on the local Oyster 82 'Sundowner of Tortola' could only wonder what heinous crime one of their number must have done for them to be dealt such bad luck. Not only where they left gasping for air at the start, as the opposing northerly and southerly airstreams tried to outsmart each other, but these Doldrums-like conditions doggedly followed them on whatever tack they chose.

Other crews took the judgement that a swim and leisurely lunch anchored off Spring Bay was the more profitable option, but the Sundowner crew battled on like gamblers down on their luck, hoping for a change in fortunes. This dogged perseverance finally got them to within a shout of the finish, but just as the beers were about to break out, the wind gods turned off the fan once more, to leave Soundowner to drift so cruelly past the wrong side of the mark.

By contrast, Samantha Simmonds and her 'Ostrika' crew, had a stress free day. Starting in clear air, they soon overhauled David and Tamsin Kidwell's equally venerable Oyster 435 'Twice Eleven' and continued to carry the breeze with them until Race Officer Alan Brook decided to put the rest of the fleet out of their misery by shortening course. By then, 'Ostrika' was but a dot on the horizon to most of her rivals, some of whom were seemingly, still struggling to cross the start. The Kidwell's 'Twice Eleven' took second place, ahead of Ian Galbraith's Oyster 53 'Jigsaw' and Vincent Bloem's Oyster 56 'Windflower'.

Class 1was finally led home by Chris and Susan Shea's Oyster 72 'Magrathea' followed by two 82 footers, Bill Dockser's 'Ravenous II' and 'Oceana' owned by Stuart Smith and Barry Cooper. Mariusz Koper's Polish Oyster 72 'Kathlarsis II' , one of four yachts judged to be over the line at the start, recovered to take 4th.

Thursday is a lay day for the fleet before racing to Peter Island on Friday when the forecast promises a kinder breeze. -- Barry Pickthall

Lightweight Strength From Ullman Sails
Ullman Sails The Ullman Sails FiberPath series combines the latest in production technology and design expertise to deliver the lightest, strongest string sails on the market. The Ullman Sails Design Team understands how to address the loads in your sail using fiber selection and layout. And with years of experience designing fast, efficient sail shape, you get optimized performance sails for racers and cruisers alike. So whether you're rethinking your cruising inventory or preparing for this racing season, Ullman Sails will build sails to match your goals.

For more information on FiberPath technology, contact a local Ullman Sails lofts and visit www.ullmansails.com

2010 IRC Solent Series Championship
The 2009 Solent Series saw an increase in total entries of 28% over 2008, confirming the growing interest in this series. The Solent IRC Owners Association (SIRCOA) in association with the Solent Cruiser Racing Association (SCRA) is delighted to announce final details of the 2010 Championship Series.

We have again teamed with leading Solent yacht clubs – this year seven in place of the six of 2009 - to organise a season-long Championship Series, providing a variety of racing conditions & locations as well as the opportunity to experience the hospitality of the host clubs. Racing will vary from two short, intensive, round-the-cans races in the day to the longer Nab Tower & back. With 5 of 7 races to count, owners can miss a race or two, without ruining their chances in the series as a whole. This year, to add to crews' enjoyment, each host club will be arranging a social event during the evening of the race, to which all participants are invited, providing the opportunity to meet a wider cross section of Solent IRC owners and crews.

Because the Series is based on existing events run by the participating Clubs, the 'local' turnout is always strong, with the IRC visitors boosting race entries by a further 66%. The Series kicks off on Saturday 8th May with the Royal Southampton Yacht Club's Clarkson Cup.

Yachts may enter the whole series or individual events through the SCRA. Entry is open to IRC rated yachts with a TCC between 0.820 & 1.360.

Day 1 - 8th May - Royal Southampton Yacht Club
Day 2 - 12th June - Royal Southern Yacht Club
Day 3 - 17th July - Portsmouth Sailing Club
Day 4 - 14th August - Royal Solent Yacht Club
Day 5 - 11th September - Island Sailing Club
Day 6 - 12th September - Royal Corinthian Yacht Club
Day 7 - 9th October - Royal Yacht Squadron

Full details, the Notice of Series and an entry form can be found on the web site at:

www.solentirc.org.uk

Demi-Cle 6.50 Starts Saturday
More than 40 boats are waiting at Locmiquelic for the first Atlantic race of this season.

More than 80 skippers are waiting in the harbor of Locmiquelic. Members of the Club des Minahouets have been busy welcoming them all.

Schedule :
Wednesday April 14 : welcome
From Wednesday to Friday : safety and administrative control
Friday 16, noon : meal for crews (obligatory)
Saturday 17, 8am briefing for skippers. 8h30 leave the pontoons. 10h start.
Sunday 18, first arrivals at Pornichet at 8am.
Thursday 22 at 7pm, prize giving at Pornichet (just before the crew diner of the Pornichet Select 6.50)

www.demi-cle.com/actualites-6.50-14-4.html

San Francisco Bay America's Cup Possibilities
With a decision originally slated for the Summer on if San Francisco will Indeed host the 34rth edition of the Cup and any challenges prior, we'' take a closer examination or the possible candidates and their pluses and minuses.

Weeks after the Cup was secured in Valencia, wild-ass speculation ensued with finally a SF Chronicle report indicated that the Mayor's office had been in talks with BMW Oracle and the list of candidate were quoted as follows

"The city is looking at various locations, including Treasure Island, Fort Mason, Pier 17, on the northern Embarcadero, Piers 30-32, near the Bay Bridge, Pier 48, which is just south of AT&T Park, and Pier 80, a container ship pier at the foot of Cesar Chavez Street."

Out of those 6 choices, 3 have been virtually eliminated, Fort Mason, Pier 17 and Treasure Island...

...Also still in contention is the City of Alameda; the city council wasted little time in suiting BMW Oracle with its willingness to provide a venue. The former Naval Air Station offers near perfect existing infrastructure and a deep water port, almost tailor made for a village. It's West End location is about as close as you can get to San Francisco without getting wet. It's major drawback is its not San Francisco and is off the beaten path. It lacks the cosmopolitan panache that most of the other venues can offer, and would most certainly require a ferry service route to become feasible

While there has been direct mention from Mr Ellison himself that he desires a location without a substantial tow to the course, most of these south of the Bay Bridge location would not meet the criteria for a central bay racing course, the South Bay has not been ruled out as a contender. We'll discuss those options at a later date.

Full story and lots of photos from Erik Simonson at:
www.pressure-drop.us

Bainbridge International Sailcloth - A History Of Innovation.
Bainbridge International Sailcloth With a full range of sailcloth, sailmakers' hardware and a global sales and support network, Bainbridge International is uniquely qualified and committed to supplying the world with the finest quality materials. Founded in 1917, Bainbridge is one of the longest established sailcloth manufacturers in the world, with almost a century's experience in developing and supplying the highest quality, highest performance materials to the sailing industry.

Bainbridge has always been at the forefront of technical developments within the world of sailcloth. Through the skills of our technical team and with the support of our international network of Bainbridge offices and European distributors, we have developed a number of class leading products, including our award winning AIRX Spinnaker Fabrics, DIAX laminated sailcloth, Ocean and Ocean Premium Plus woven fabrics and our Sailman Full Battten Systems. These have been used by many high profile campaigns over the years including, America's Cup, Vendee Globe, Volvo 60, BT Challenge and the Ellen MacArthur Trust. In January this year we announced our exciting plans to sponsor Hilary Lister in the 2011 Fastnet Race.

For more information and to request samples of our products, please email

www.bainbridgeint.com

ORC World Championship 2010 Tune Up With Elvstrom Sails
ORC Owners are invited to participate in a special '4Racing' weekend hosted by Danish sail maker Elvstrom Sails in Kiel from 23-25 April. The weekend has been organized in cooperation with the Kiel Yacht Club, the Deutscher Segler Verband and Regatta Vereinigung Seesegeln.

Hosted by Elvstrom Sails Managing Director and triple Olympic medalist Jesper Bank, a team of six trim experts from Elvstrom Sails will be available from Friday 23 April to check and tune the rigs on a limited number of yachts. A series of short windward-leeward races will be arranged on Saturday and Sunday with the Elvstrom team spending time on board the boats to offer racing tips and sail tuning advise to owners. The weekend will end with a video debrief and refreshments on Sunday 25 April for owners to analyse their racing performance over the two days.

The free '4Racing' weekends by Elvstrom Sails have become popular events as they help owners and crew improve their boat speed and sail performance with on board advise from Elvstrom trim experts. The '4Racing' weekend in Kiel has been tailored for ORC certificate holders and offers an ideal opportunity to help crews prepare for the ORC World Championship in Flensburg from 5-11 September.

Deliverance and Decisions
Click on image to enlarge.

New York to Barcelona The two IMOCA Open 60's pass into their second week of the New York to Barcelona Transoceanic Record Sailing Challenge battling with the toughest conditions of the passage so far.

The weather forecasts confirm that not only is deliverance from the 35-40 knot gusts and big seas due by Friday early afternoon, but then strategic decisions need to be taken over the following 24 hours which could have a lasting effect on positions up the Mediterranean.

Perennial leader Estrella Damm has a lead of just over 30 miles, and they still have no options but to press on flat out. Both teams well know that the miles up the Mediterranean are likely to be in light to moderate, variable headwinds and that in those conditions, the tables could be turned and W Hotels is acknowledged by most as having the potential speed edge.

Boat speeds through last night and today have been impressive, averaging just under 20 knots and swallowing miles to the south of the Azores, rapidly approaching the improving conditions.

And then, probably on Saturday morning, comes the decision when to gybe, probably between 0800hrs and midday. Certainly for the Spanish crews that will feel like the turn for home.

www.ny-bcn.org

2010 GP42 Series In The Audi Medcup - Rider Seats Still Available
Audi Medcup There are just 4 weeks 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 rider guest innovation will be available for those interested in the boats, the event and the class. 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.

Interest in the program has been brisk, but there are still some seats available. "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 www.medcup.org or www.gp42.org

Short Tacks
* It is with regret that the J Class Association has been informed that Hanuman has withdrawn from the Antigua Classic Regatta 2010. Everyone had been looking forward to watching the three J yachts 'Hanuman', 'Velsheda' and 'Ranger' compete in the four day event, which starts Friday 16th April 2010.

Both 'Velsheda' and 'Ranger' will compete in the Spirit of Tradition Class, a fleet of around 7 yachts, schooners, yawls and sloops all over 90' LOA.

We hope to see 'Hanuman' sailing against other Js in future regattas.

* Brest Classic Week will take place from next 5th to 10th July, offering superb racing in the roads and bay of Brest and in the Iroise Sea. Jointly organised by Brest Evenements Nautiques and the Comet Organisation, with the support and partnership of the Brest metropole oceane urban council, this first edition should host over 30 outstanding and historic sailing boats.

This week of traditional sailing has been designed to fit into the classic yachting and race circuit, between the Rendez-vous de Benodet in late June and the Cowes Week regatta in late July. And the desire to make this a regular gathering held every two years is already being strongly asserted. The next stage will be Brest 2012, with an ever-increasing number of mythical boats present to celebrate the twentieth anniversary of Brest's maritime festival.

* German carmaker Audi has confirmed its support of Australia's premier keelboat regatta for another three years, bringing its title sponsorship of Audi Hamilton Island Race Week to six years and its involvement in the event to seven.

Scheduled to take place from 20-28 August, 2010 and now in its 27th year, this year's regatta promises to be more impressive than ever. An on-water highlight will be the inclusion of a new division for superyachts, including Lang Walker's magnificent new 58-metre sloop, Kokomo.

In contrast to an event that hosted 93 yachts in 1984 on an Island under early construction, 200 boats now race from the start-line of the newly opened Hamilton Island Yacht Club. Australia's premier yachts and well-known faces flock to the Whitsundays Island for the week-long spectacle that many now consider a central fixture on Australia's social and sporting calendar.

www.hamiltonislandraceweek.com.au

Letters To The Editor -
Letters are limited to 350 words. No personal attacks are permitted. We do require your name but your email address will not be published without your permission.

* From Kim Klaka : Re: Scuttlebutt Europe #2071 - 15 April "How Long Before The Sailing Freedoms Erode?"

Before we all get into a lather about the unnecessary search for a skipper who arrived 44 days late, let us just consider what he did. Leaving aside for the moment the compounding problem that he had a paying crew, he:

- Left Salinas, Ecuador, on Jan. 16th, with vague plans to arrive in Coquimbo, Chile, around Feb. 27
- Had vague plans to sail around the Galapagos
- Arrived 44 days late
- Had a reputation for wildly underestimating his voyage times
- Did not call for help
- Indeed, did not call anyone for any reason
- Did not ask anyone ashore to raise the alarm if he was late.

On the basis of that information, who decided to send out a search party, on what grounds, and where would they have started looking? He could have been almost anywhere in the eastern Pacific. Under those circumstances wouldn't the appropriate action by shore parties have been to just ask for ships in the region to keep a lookout for the "missing" yacht?

Clearly he was not without fault, but perhaps the threat to sailing freedom comes as much from shore-based expectations as it does from unthinking skippers.

Featured Brokerage
Featured Brokerage Boat 1996 Rowan Yachting Ltd Projection 35, EUR 65,000. Located in Cork, Ireland.

This boat just had a major refit, painted in 2009 and new timber floor fitted to the cockpit, she is ready to go racing and had been maintained to a very high standard, New keel & rudder in 2003, Boatyard cradle, spares etc available

Brokerage through Crosshaven Boatyard Co. Ltd.: www.yachtworld.com/crosshavenboatyard/

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

The Last Word
I think it is a great error to consider a heavy tax on wines as a tax on luxury. On the contrary, it is a tax on the health of our citizens. -- Thomas Jefferson

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