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New Look Schedule for Volvo Ocean Race 2011-12
Alicante, Spain: The course and dates for the Volvo Ocean Race 2011-12 have been officially announced today. This edition of the race will see a new format for the racing programme in the host cities, including the start city of Alicante, Spain and finish city of Galway, Ireland. For the first time, the Volvo Ocean Race will finish with an In-Port race in Galway.

The iconic islands of the Azores in the Atlantic, Fernando de Noronha off the Brazilian coast and the Fastnet Rock, the southern most point of Ireland, all make an appearance on the course.

The new racing schedule for the stopovers will conclude with an action-packed long weekend in the host cities.

The Pro-Am races will be first on the agenda for the weekend. The second day sees the Volvo Ocean Race teams battle it out in two In-Port races, which count to their overall scores. The short course of the In-Port races and the proximity to the stopover harbours and beaches, will allow the public to watch the exciting racing up close, as the teams push the yachts to the limits trying to gain the important extra points.

The start and finish ports also have a new look schedule. Alicante will have a week of festivals between the In-Port and Pro-Am race weekend and the start of Leg One to the popular host city of Cape Town, South Africa.

Galway will be the first finish city in the race's history to hold an inshore race after the final leg. This will not only give the teams a chance to add valuable points to their overall scores but also allow the enthusiastic Irish fans to enjoy the racing on Galway Bay.

There will be no scoring gates in this edition of the race but the fleet will still pass round some famous islands on their course round the world. Leg One will see the fleet pass the island of Fernando de Noronha, 200 nautical miles off the Brazilian coast as the first proper rounding mark of the race.

Due to increasing pirate attacks and hijacking off the coast of Somalia, the fleet will sail around an exclusion zone, which will be added to this area nearer race time to help reduce the risk to the yachts.

On Leg Eight from Lisbon, Portugal to Lorient, France the fleet heads offshore again for a 1,940 nautical mile leg, rounding the Portuguese archipelago of the Azores before heading back towards the northwest coast of France.

The Fastnet Rock is the last landmark the sailors will sail around before their final sprint up the west coast of Ireland, to the finish in Galway.

The race will visit eight stopover ports on five continents and race through four oceans, in under nine months. The Volvo Open 70's will cover over 39,270 nautical miles racing around the globe.

The full Volvo Ocean Race 2011-12 racing schedule is at volvooceanrace.com

Canadian Team Wins Star Class Western Hemisphere Championships
Canadian duo Richard Clarke and Tyler Bjorn had a 5th and 6th place finish on the final day of the Star Class Western Hemisphere Championships held in Nassau last week, but their top finishes on days one and two were enough to hold on and clinch the title.

Sharp changes in weather conditions over three days of sailing meant all teams had to sail outside of their comfort zone for at least some of the races.

Top Skipper Richard Clarke says that had the weather conditions played out differently over the course of the series, he might not have finished up in first place.

"It was definitely more of a struggle for us on the last day. I think that when it's windier the guys who are stronger in the breeze have a bit of an advantage, but then the weather acts as a bit of a neutralizer. Everyone can be competitive and Saturday was quite tricky for us with the big wind shifts, and it allowed for some passing and shuffling in the fleet and some guys who hadn't had good results had an opportunity to shine at the front."

Two American teams - Augie Diaz and crew Bruno Prada and Mark Mendelblatt with crew John von Schwarz finished second and third respectively.

Bahamian brothers Mark and William Holowesko had consistent finishes over the course of the series to end up in 16th place overall.

Twenty-eight pairs competed in the series, but a few teams opted out on the first day of sailing in rough conditions.

The Nassau Yacht Club hosted the race which was sponsored by the Nassau branch of private banking firm Lombard Odier Darier Hentsch. The week went so well that already Hutton says the Star class is talking about coming back to Nassau again soon.

Results at star2010.nassauyachtclub.org/results/results.html

Cowes Week Parade Village 2010
Cowes Week Parade Village Bookings for The Parade Village at Cowes Week are now open. This year, the Parade Village intends to be better than ever with a mixture of marine, leisure, luxury and lifestyle exhibitors adding to the flavour of this prestigious event. Located right on the waterfront and attracting thousands of spectators and competitors, the Parade Village is a great place to do business.

To reserve your site space follow the link and download the Parade Village information pack.

www.cowesparadevillage.com or telephone 01983 200901.

RORC - Cervantes Trophy Race
Christopher Opielok's German Corby 36, Rockall III will be competing for the Cervantes Trophy. Photo by RORC/Paul Wyeth. Click on image to enlarge.

RORC - Cervantes Trophy Race Organised by RORC in association with the Societe des Regates du Havre and the Royal Yacht Squadron. The race starts from Cowes on Saturday 1st May from the RYS line to the East with the first warning signal at 0750.

Over 4000 miles of offshore racing with the Royal Ocean Racing Club continues this May Bank Holiday. The Cervantes Trophy Race is the first English Channel Race of the RORC season. This year's race from Cowes to Le Havre in France has attracted an international fleet with yachts from Belgium, Britain, France, Germany and Poland.

The Cervantes Trophy Race is part of RORC's Season's Points Championship. The Championship consists of a testing series of races which attracts an international and varied fleet. For the serious offshore sailor, trying to win the championship is a real challenge. The Season's Points Championship this year includes the tactically challenging Sevenstar Round Britain & Ireland Race.

High Performance TP52s, Rolex Commodores' Cup boats, two-handed entries and production cruising boats will be racing across to Le Havre. Monday 3rd May is a Bank Holiday, which will allow competitors to enjoy an extended time on the water. For those interested in more racing; The Trophee Guillaume Le Conquerant is a return race back to the UK, organised by the Societe des Regates du Havre in association with RORC, and the Island Sailing Club, Cowes. The race starts on Sunday 4th May from Le Havre.

The closing date for entries in the RORC Cervantes Trophy Race is Thursday 22nd April. Entries may be accepted after this date but will be subject to a late entry fee.

www.rorc.org

Estate Master Wins The 2010 Rolex Farr 40 Pre Worlds
Photo by Sam Crichton. Click on image for photo gallery.

Farr 40 Pre Worlds Casa de Campo, Dominican Republic: Racing at the 2010 Rolex Farr 40 Pre Worlds has wrapped up today with Lisa and Martin Hill's Estate Master from Australia winning the event. Estate Master went into today's racing one point behind Doug Douglass's Goombay Smash (USA) and won both of the races today to give them the overall win.

The ten boat fleet headed for the race course under idyllic Caribbean skies with a 10 knot easterly breeze that swung to the south east after race four of the series.

Race four and Estate Master (AUS) improved from their first mark rounding position to move through the fleet and cross the line ahead of overnight leader Goombay Smash (USA). Fellow American father and son team of Helmut and Evan Jahn's Flash Gordon 6 (USA), finished race four in third.

The final race of the day and regatta and the race committee had to reconfigure the race course and eventually sent the fleet on a two mile windward leeward race. Estate Master (AUS) again came out on top after eight miles of racing with Alex Roepers' Plenty (USA) finishing up second and Flash Gordon 6 (USA) repeating their result from the previous race to finish in third.

The teams will now be preparing for the reason why they are here at Casa de Campo, the 2010 Rolex Farr 40 World Championship. Defending Rolex Farr 40 World Champion Jim Richardson and his Barking Mad team are aiming to make it two in a row and four times World Champions which would be a first for the Farr 40 class. -- Sam Crichton

2010 Rolex Farr 40 Pre Worlds Final Results:
1. Estate Master, L&M.Hill, AUS, 12 points
2. Goombay Smash, D.Douglass, USA, 17
3. Barking Mad, J.Richardson, USA, 19
4. Fiamma, A.Barnaba, ITA, 25
5. Nerone, M.Mezzaroma/A.Signorini, ITA, 27
6. Enfant Terrible, A.Rossi, ITA, 30
7. Flash Gordon 6, H & E Jahn, USA, 34
8. Struntje light, W.Schaefer, GER, 34
9. Plenty, A.Roepers, USA, 37
10. Transfusion, G.Belgiorno-Nettis, AUS, 41

www.farr40worlds.com

Team Finland Arrives In San Francisco
Click on image to enlarge.

Clipper San Francisco, California: It was an early morning arrival in to San Francisco for Team Finland and although the sun had yet to rise, the crew were treated to a warm welcome by a crowd of family members and fellow crew. The Finnish entry in the Clipper 09-10 Round the World Yacht race sailed under the iconic Golden Gate Bridge at the end of an eventful North Pacific race having left Qingdao, China, two weeks after the rest of the Clipper fleet. Team Finland had been dismasted in rough seas during the previous race and it was always going to be a race against time for the team to rejoin their competitors for the start of Race 8 to Panama. Now alongside, work will begin immediately to ensure that Team Finland can set off with the rest of the fleet tomorrow, Tuesday 20 April.

Despite being the last team to complete the 5,690-mile leg, Team Finland has been awarded 8.3 points by the Race Committee, their average points up to and including Race 6. This was due to the delays with their replacement mast, stepped in Qingdao, that were outside their control. The team now has an overall points tally of 58.3 and places them in third place on the leaderboard behind Spirit of Australia and Jamaica Lightning Bolt. The three podium positions for Race 7 went to Cape Breton Island, Jamaica Lightning Bolt and Qingdao respectively.

Standings at the end of Race 7, Points
1. Spirit of Australia, 70
2. Jamaica Lightning Bolt, 59
3. Team Finland, 58.3
4. Cape Breton, 53
5. Hull & Humber, 43
6. Uniquely Singapore, 40
7. Qingdao, 36
8. Edinburgh Inspiring Capital, 23
9. Cork, 23
10. California, 20

www.clipperroundtheworld.com

Performance Packs from Tacktick
TackTick Electronics experts Tacktick, have launched a series of Spring offers for racing yacht owners in the form of 'Performance Packs' which specify the ideal wireless electronics package for a range of different boat sizes at very competitive prices

The Performance Packs spec out the ideal electronics set up for racing yachts of 30ft, 40ft and 50ft. The comprehensive information sheets are available online at www.tacktick.com and include all the key features of the products, the individual units included in the packages as well as a number of free products being given away as part of the offer.

The Performance Pack kits are ideal for either replacing existing electronics or installation on new yachts and offer owners a complete high performance wireless racing system at a great price.

The Performance Packs are available in British £, Euro€ and US$ configurations.

Match Race Germany
The field of skippers for the 13th Match Race Germany, one of the longest running events on the World Match Racing Tour (WMRT) has been confirmed. Headed by reigning ISAF Match Racing World Champion 2009 Adam Minoprio (NZL) ETNZ/BlackMatch Racing and Torvar Mirsky (AUS) Mirsky Racing Team, 2nd in the 2009 WMRT standings, a total of 12 teams representing 8 different countries set their course heading to Langenargen on beautiful Lake Constance.

The international line-up is fighting for not only valuable World Match Racing Tour ranking points but also for prizes in excess of US$60.000.

There are several favourites this year including, helmsman Mathieu Richard (FRA) French Match Racing Team who won Stage 1 of the ISAF World Match Racing Tour on home waters recently.

With a special task, and a World Ranking position of 334 to his credit, Jesper Radich (DEN) Radich Racing Team makes his appearance again on Lake Constance after a long break. The furious Dane has been away from the Match Racing circuit but is starting his comeback. In 2003 he was triumphant and won Match Race Germany. Just a year later he was the youngest helmsman to win the World Match Racing Tour. With 5 Grand Prix wins he is ranked on the all time leader board behind Gilmour (with 15 wins), Russell Coutts (NZL) with 6 wins, and Magnus Holmberg (SWE) Victory Challenge (with 6 wins). Holmberg will also make a comeback at the German Match Race Classic on the Tour.

Ian Ainslie (RSA) Team Proximo, who recently climbed successfully in the world rankings up to 11, will come to Langenargen again.

In contrast to the above vast match racing experience of international professional sailors, the only German and partly female crew with skipper Kathrin Kadelbach (GER) EWE Sailing Team, only expects to have an outsider chance in Langenargen. But helmswoman Kadelbach and her tactician Ulrike Schumann (GER), both from Berlin, have been on an extensive one year match racing programme on their road to the Olympic Games in Weymouth, England.

www.wmrt.com

Gitana 11 Making A Technical Pit Stop In Dingle
After setting out from her home port of La Trinite-sur-Mer, Brittany, on Tuesday 13th April 2010 for a four to five day solo sail, Gitana 11 has been forced to make a technical pit stop in southern Ireland. Seventy-two hours after her departure, whilst heading up towards the famous Fastnet Rock after a long downwind stretch offshore, Yann Guichard noticed some slight damage to the starboard float. In order to avoid taking any risks and given the windy conditions over the zone in question, it was collectively agreed that the skipper should make for the nearest port - Dingle - to reinforce the platform and head back out to the sea as soon as possible.

Initial observations suggest to the team that the damage is the result of either colliding with a UFO (Unidentified Floating Object), or repeated impact from big, boat-breaking seas. For the time being though, it's still too early to have any degree of certainty and the exact causes will only be defined on the multihull's return to her home port.

On arriving in the bay of Dingle on Saturday, the skipper of Gitana 11 had to wait for nearly 24 hours before setting foot on terra firma again. Indeed the transportation of the technical team has been hampered by the aerial blockage that Northern Europe has been experiencing for several days. The preparateurs from Gitana Team didn't make it into Dingle until late afternoon on Sunday after a long ferry crossing and a few hours' drive across the emerald isle. -- translated by Kate Jennings

www.gitana-team.com

OK Dinghy World Rankings
Karl Purdie wins the Worlds. Photo by Robert Deaves. Click on image to enlarge.

OK Dinghy World Rankings Following the end of the Southern Hemisphere season there have been sweeping changes to the top of the OK Dinghy World Ranking List. This issue of the ranking list includes the Australian and New Zealand Nationals, the Interdominion Championships and the World Championships held in Wellington in February.

A second world title as well as the New Zealand Nationals and Interdominion titles for Kiwi Karl Purdie have kept him clear ahead of the rest of the fleet and just a tantalising 3.6 points short of the magic 1000+ Club, an honour only held by Jorgen Lindhardtsen of Denmark and Nick Craig from Great Britain.

Craig, who finished fifth at the worlds, climbs from eighth to second in the ranking while the 2009 World Champion Thomas Hansson-Mild from Sweden drops to third. Hansson Mild was recently awarded the Vinges Cup by the Swedish Sailing Association for best male achievement of 2009, in recognition of his 2009 title win.

New entries into the top ten include Sonke Behrens from Germany, Russell Wood from New Zealand and the world championship runner up Mike Williams from Australia. A former world ranking leader, Lindhardtsen, skipped the world championships and has slipped to 18th overall, the first time he has been outside the top ten since this list was started. -- Robert Deaves

OK Dinghy World Ranking - April 2010
(Top 10 of 409 sailors from 17 countries)

1. Karl Purdie, NZL, 996.62 points
2. Nick Craig, GBR, 948.11
3. Thomas Hanson-Mild, SWE, 893.76
4. Greg Wilcox, NZL, 876.91
5. Terry Curtis, GBR, 820.59
6. Paul Rhodes, NZL, 784.13
7. Sonke Behrens, GER, 769.40
8. Steve McDowell, NZL, 737.00
9. Russell Wood, NZL, 719.98
10. Mike Williams, AUS, 718.32

www.okdia.org

Seeping Into The Mainstream
Longtime reader Martin Adams was the source of one our April Fool's articles, the one about the AC being voided because measurement showed BMW/Oracle being one inch out of legal measurement maximums (see scuttlebutteurope.com/archive/131-scuttlebutt-europe-2061-1-april.html ).

This notable bit of BS has now made its way into mainstream dialogue. Martin sent over this gem today:

America's Cup litigation cost estimated $400 million

The litigation that preceded the 2010 America's Cup races off the Mediterranean coast of Valencia, Spain, in February cost an estimated $400 million, Bertie de Speville, Reserve Juror, told Tamesis members when he gave a talk on "Sport in the Court" - the legal wrangles behind the 33rd America's Cup on Thursday 8 April. He said the victory claimed by Larry Ellison the owner of the wingsail rigged trimaran USA BMW Oracle might be challenged by Ernesto Berterelli, the Swiss owner of the competing catamaran Alinghi, on the grounds that its central hull was an inch too long. One welcome outcome was that Larry Ellison had indicated that he would like to see the contest return to the previous system in which challenges were accepted from yacht clubs around the world and a challenger and defender were selected as a result of match racing between comparable yachts.

Attention Mr. de Speville: GOTCHA!

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The Last Word
True virtue is life under the direction of reason. -- Baruch Spinoza

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