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The annual Wilson Trophy British Open Team Racing Championship hosted by West Kirby Sailing Club is a remarkable event on many levels. Beyond the mere facts that the event, now in its sixty-first year, is still consistently attracting the cream of the international team racing community, the sheer logistical challenges of staging this event set it apart from any other.
The 2010 edition of the Wilson Trophy which ran from the 7th - 9th May was no exception and attracted team entries from the UK, Ireland and the USA. The West Kirby Hawks fielded the same illustrious helm lineup of Ben Field, Dom Johnson and Andy Cornah, which had prevailed over the American Larchmont team in a thrilling 2009 Grand Final. Whilst the Hawks certainly looked likely to be strong contenders to make it into the final rounds come Sunday, another local team, West Kirby Sailing Club, also boasted an impressive list of experienced team racing helmsmen, in the form of Leo Dixon, Paul Kameen and Owen Modral and would be equally likely to progress to the later stages of the competition. Four potent USA teams had made the trip to this year's Wilson Trophy, including two New York Yacht Club entries, as well as Team Extreme led by Olympic 470 campaigner Stuart McNay. This year also saw the welcome return of the enigmatically named Woonsocket Rockets who made a huge impact at the 2009 edition. Ireland was represented by two strong Dun Laoghaire teams, the Royal St George Yacht Club and the George Knights.
The best of five Grand Final was decided in three straight races, with USA's Team Extreme simply demonstrating more composure and better discipline than their British challengers. A series of uncharacteristic unforced errors by the West Kirby Hawks, including several OCS starts and a clutch of umpire penalties, effectively handed control to team Extreme in all three races and enabled them to inflict a clinical three to zero Grand Final whitewash defeat on the 2009 Wilson Trophy winners. Having so dominated the qualification rounds and maintained their composure through the elimination rounds nobody could argue that Team Extreme - Zach Brown & Emmet Smith, Adam & Melanie Roberts and Stuart McNay & Abby Coplin - were well deserved winners of the 2010 Wilson Trophy British Open Team Racing Championship.
Spirit Of Australia Wins Clipper Race 8
The ecstatic crew of Spirit of Australia have arrived in Panama following their victory in Race 8 of the Clipper 09-10 Round the World Yacht Race. The team led for much of the way but were pushed every inch of the 3,300-mile course by fellow competitors, Team Finland, Qingdao and Jamaica Lightning Bolt, who did not make it easy for them.
In addition to the ten points for winning the race from San Francisco, Spirit of Australia also picked up three points as the first team to cross the Scoring Gate. Despite two previous podium-topping finishes it is the first time they have netted the maximum haul of 13 points.
Skipper Brendan said, "We saw that it could be done - Cape Breton Island did it coming across the Pacific - so we made that our goal, we aimed very high and we pushed hard and got it in the end. We're delighted."
The result puts them 15 points clear of closest rivals, Jamaica Lightning Bolt, at the top of the overall leader board. There are six more individual races remaining in the Clipper 09-10 campaign
After completing immigration formalities Brendan and his team must now wait for the go-ahead to pass under the imposing Bridge of the Americas and begin their transit of the Panama Canal, one of the great engineering achievements of the modern world. Forty-eight miles long, the canal rises to 28 metres above sea level through a series of huge locks. As the 68-foot long ocean racing yachts pass through they are likely to be dwarfed by a tanker, cargo ship or cruise liner in the neighbouring set of locks.
At the Caribbean end of the Canal Spirit of Australia will join Cork in Shelter Bay Marina as she undergoes final preparations to rejoin Clipper 09-10. The crews will wait for the other teams before setting off for the Race 9 start line and the 591-mile sprint upwind to Port Antonio on the on the north coast of Jamaica.
Be Safe At Sea With A Holmatro Emergency Rigging Cutter
Nobody is eager to cut their boats rigging and let go of the mast, but in case the mast becomes a threat to your own yacht, you simply have no other choice. You don't want to risk the chance of losing your yacht. Rod rigging is difficult to cut with the standard equipment onboard and you don't want to try in the middle of a dangerous situation. So be prepared and make sure you go offshore with the proper equipment.
Holmatro has developed a highly reliable, high-quality emergency rigging cutter to quickly and safely cut free your rig. The cutters are available as manual- and remote-operated version and can be used to cut wire, dyform and rod rigging.
For more product information, check www.holmatro.com
Mini Pavois - Good Start At 11:20
The leaders are expected Thursday in the late afternoon in the Port Minimes.
34 sailors at the start: Vincent Pilato does not go...
Meteo Consult weather forecast:
Tuesday the 11th of May
Wednesday the 12th of May
First leg's (La Rochelle / Gijon) podiums:
Legality Of Team Origin Yacht Questioned
The launch ceremony for the Juan Kouyoumdjian-designed yacht was also disrupted as team owner Sir Keith Mills flew out of Lisbon fearing, rightly, that the volcanic ash cloud could close the airport on Monday and, as deputy chairman of LOCOG, the Olympic organisation, he had to host a major dinner on Monday night.
The launch was put back to Tuesday and team members Leslie Greenhalgh and Charlotte Harmer stood in for Lady Maureen Mills.
At the centre of the row are some wings on the boat's keel which the class manager Rob Weiland says are outside the rules.
Juan K, as he is known, added the wings to improve performance of the yacht upwind, knowing that the price was likely to be a slight decrease in speed downwind. He has been in conflict with Weiland in the past, when his 50-foot Coyote was banned from the Admiral's Cup in 1999 for reinforcing with Kevlar the unstayed mast of the French yacht Coyote.
He says that he knew only a week ago of Weiland's objection and said: "There is nothing in the rule that remotely forbids (wings) or suggests anything like it. TP52s have had wings in the past, for instance on Karl Kwok's Beau Gests. I don't think it's fair. Interpretations [by the class manager] are not the way to change the rule." -- Stuart Alexander in The Independent, www.independent.co.uk/sport/
EUROSAF European Match Racing Championship
In the Women's division the skippers to watch will be Germany's Silke Halhbrock, the reigning European champion, and Lucy Macgregor, the up-and-coming British sailor currently leading the world match racing rankings.
In the Open division, top-ranked Pierre Antoine-Morvan from France, Mads Ebler from Denmark and Alvaro Marinho from Portugal will be vying for the European title. For Marinho and Ebler the waters of Lake Constance off Hard will be familiar, having raced in last year's Match Race Cup. Marinho faced Ebler in the semi-finals and after one victory the absence of wind forced again the organizers to can all racing. Marinho went on to clinch the title on the round robin count-back. The EUROSAF European Match Racing Championship starts on Tuesday, May 11th with the practice races, followed by a double round robin, quarterfinals, semi-finals and finals, from Wednesday until Saturday.
Men crews will be racing on the Blu26 yachts, also used in World Match Racing event in Saint Moritz. These 26-foot yachts are raced with a crew of 4 men and their sail plan is adapted to the European Lakes. Women crews will be racing on the Schultz22 yachts. These 22-foot yachts will be raced with a crew of 3 women, similar to the Elliot 6m, the new Olympic women match racing yacht.
Racing will take place on two separate race courses, with separate race committees and officials. The first race course will be inside the Binnenbecken pond, giving spectators the unique opportunity to have a 360-degree access to the races. The second course will be on Lake Constance itself, again as close to the shore as possible.
Skipper Line-Up - Women
Name - Nationality - Ranking
Skipper Line-Up - Open
Name - Nationality - Ranking
Pierre Orphanidis is doing the event PR, so Valencia Sailing will be the place to go for results: valenciasailing.blogspot.com
Get A Deal On The Racing Rules!
To order the Rules DVD or learn more about it, go to: www.LearnTheRacingRules.com
San Francisco Angles for Vuitton Sailing Series
The two-week Louis Vuitton sailing races occur four times a year in different parts of the globe. They involve 10 racing teams who race each other using the same four boats.
The last time San Francisco hosted something similar was in 2003, when the Moet Cup was raced in the Bay for a week, attracting more than 100,000 people to The City's waterfront.
San Francisco is in the running for the race against San Diego and other cities, Young said.
The committee consists of representatives from both Golden Gate and St. Francis yacht clubs, as well as the Port of San Francisco, The City and BMW Oracle Racing, which won the America's Cup on Golden Gate's behalf in February.
The City is hoping to host the next America's Cup, but that decision won't come down until the end of the year. The decision for the Louis Vuitton series will most likely come by August.
San Francisco has proposed to host the 2011 event between Sept. 17 and Oct. 1. -- Katie Worth
From the San Francisco Examiner:
Largest Ever Finn Europeans Declared Open
The largest ever Finn Europeans was officially opened Monday evening at the YC Labud in Split, Croatia on the shores of the Adriatic. The opening ceremony was held on Monday evening in front of the club.
Earlier in the afternoon a practice race was started, though many boats did their own thing. The conditions were just perfect with 12-15 knots and blue skies and nice waves, though everyone headed in after one lap.
The high entry is evidence of the growing numbers worldwide. Each nation has set quota for places based on its membership levels, so the high entry is the result of growing membership in many of the member nations.
Flight cancellations across Europe on Saturday delayed the arrival of several of the Jury members officiating here. Chairman of the Jury Ralph Roberts and his wife were were stuck in Vienna for 12 hours before being diverted to Zagreb where they had to catch the bus to Split, arriving at 3.00 am. Marianne Middelthon from Norway had a similar delayed journey, taking 30 hours to finally arrive in Split on Monday afternoon. But everyone has now arrived and the racing can start.
Racing starts Tuesday at 12.00 with two races scheduled for each of the next five days before the medal race for the top 10 and the final fleet race for the rest.
Grand Prix De L'ecole Navale : Stage 2 Of The Longtze European Tour
For the first time, the student circuit (the Longtze Student Cup) joins the Longtze European Tour. Eight crews representing 15 schools will be in the ranks.
The Naval Academy is heavily involved in the Longtze Student Cup. Two teams are registered on the circuit : one in partnership with HEC and the other, recently put together, "Generations Ecole Navale ", is sponsored entirely by the Naval Academy's past students association.
In total, 68 sailors, the young and the not so young, but each one armed with their personal motivations will battle it out on board the Longtze Premier. Four whole four days of fun and festivities for the Monohulls.
Entry list for the Grand Prix de l'Ecole Navale in Longtze
Sailnumber - Nationality - Boat Name - Skipper
Stena Match Cup Sweden Takes On Olympic Matchracing
The entry of the Elliott class for the women in Stena Match Cup Sweden will even further strengthen the premiere sailing event in Sweden, which already is a Word Championship event for male match racing skippers and teams, part of the World Match Racing Tour. Ten female teams will race the Elliott 6 at Marstrand this year, two Swedish teams, two Danish teams and six other international crews from altogether six nations. The teams have a crew of three; all of them are top stars in their countries in female match racing.
The two Swedish teams will be lead by the two star skippers Anna Kjellberg, the new born star who became runner up at Stena Match Cup Sweden the last two years, and Linda Rahm, previously ranked second in the world.
Stena Match Cup Sweden became one of the earliest events to establish a women's class in 1999. As a result Sweden has grown to a strong nation within women's match racing.
For The Record
For interest, an image of this route, taken from the WSSR Black Box is attached.
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