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18ft Skiffs 2017 JJ Giltinan Championship, Race 2
Click on image for photo gallery.

Skiffs Sydney Harbour: New Zealand champion Yamaha team tightened the grip on the 2017 JJ Giltinan 18ft Skiff Championship, sponsored by The Winning Group, with another stunning victory in today's Race 2 of the championship on Sydney Harbour.

With eyes set firmly on becoming the first New Zealand team to win the coveted crown on Sydney Harbour, David McDiarmid, Matt Steven and Brad Collins sailed another faultless race to win by 1m14s from the defending champion Smeg team (Lee Knapton, Ricky Bridge, Mike McKensey).

Coopers 62-Rag & Famish Hotel (Jack Macartney, Peter Harris, Mark Kennedy) reproduced their form from Race 1 and finished just 7s back in third place.

Thurlow Fisher Lawyers (Michael Coxon) was only another 9s back in fourth place, followed by Asko Appliances (Marcus Ashley-Jones) and (David Witt).

Yamaha leads the series on 2 points, followed by Coopers 62-Rag & Famish Hotel on 5 points, Smeg on 6, Thurlow Fisher Lawyers 7, C-Tech (Alex Vallings, NZ) 12, with Asko Appliances and equal on 13.

The race was sailed in another southerly wind, which ranged between 19-24 knots.

Race 3 of the JJ Giltinan Championship will be sailed tomorrow, Tuesday, 28 February, at 3pm. -- Frank Quealey, Australian 18 Footers League

Race Dates:
Race 3 - Tuesday - 28 February
Race 4 - Wednesday - 1 March
Race 5 - Thursday - 2 March
Race 6 - Saturday - 4 March
Race 7 - Sunday - 5 March

Romain Attanasio Takes Fifteenth Place
French skipper Romain Attanasio, sailing Famille Mary-Etamine du Lys, took 15th place in the Vendee Globe non stop solo race around the world Friday morning when he crossed the finish line at 1006hrs UTC. The elapsed time for the French skipper who raced the 1998 launched IMOCA which was originally Catherine Chabaud's Whirlpool is 109 days 22 hours and 4 minutes. He sailed 28,569 miles at an average speed of 10.83 knots.

For the 39 year old solo racer who has a diverse background in offshore and ocean racing, completing his first Vendee Globe is the culmination of a personal goal, stepping up from singlehanded racing in the Mini 6.50 and in the solo one design Figaro class, to take on the pinnacle solo ocean race around the world.

Attanasio took over fifteenth place early on the final morning, passing Conrad Colman who had raced the final 715 miles of his Vendee Globe under jury rig. Since repairing his rudders in South Africa Attanasio raced a hard, intense duel with the Spanish skipper Didac Costa, the pair racing older boats which both have storied histories. Ultimately Costa, on the former Kingfisher of Ellen MacArthur managed to escape into better wind pressure on the transition out of the NE'ly trade winds and went on to take 14th place, just over 24 hours ahead of Attanasio.

New Zealand's Conrad Colman Finishes Vendwe Globe Under Jury Rig For 16th
New Zealander Conrad Colman wrote a new chapter in the storied history of the Vendee Globe when he crossed the finish line of the eighth edition of the non stop solo round the world race under a makeshift jury rig. He took 16th place when he crossed the finish line at 1400hrs UTC. The elapsed time is 110 days 1 hour 58 minutes and 41 seconds. He sailed 27,929 miles averaging 10.57 knots.

After being dismasted late on the evening of Friday 10th February, when he was in tenth place and some 250 miles west of Lisbon, Portugal, Colman constructed and stepped a remarkable jury rig which has allowed him to sail the final 740 miles of the 27,440 nautical miles race which started from Les Sables d'Olonne on November 6th 2016.

Since he was dismasted in what should have been his last big storm of his race, only three and half days from the finish line where he seemed assured of an impressive 10th place, Colman has run out of food and lasted out his final days on the survival rations from inside his life raft. On Wednesday he confirmed by radio that he had only two biscuits left.

Colman, a trained sailmaker and rigger, set one of the most efficient jury rigs seen in the history of ocean racing, working diligently and smartly to the end to improve the sheeting angles and hence efficiency of the rig which is constructed from his boom, part of his mainsail and his storm jib. Two other skippers have finished their Vendee Globes under jury rigs. Philippe Poupon in the 1992-1993 race was close to the finish when he dismasted and Yves Parlier famously repaired his rig, but he finished with a mast which was effectively half its original height, while others, like Stephane Le Diraison and Loick Peyron had to set up jury rigs to bring their boats back to shore.

He achieves his goal of becoming the first ever skipper to race solo non stop around the world completing the Vendee Globe using no fossil fuels, only renewable energies, his electrical power generated by an innovative electric motor, solar and hydro generated electricity and stored in a bank of high tech batteries. Before leaving Les Sables d'Olonne he explained: "The objective is to have it as a reflection of my philosophies. Growing up in New Zealand I was aware of the hole in the Ozone layer there. I converted to become a vegetarian not especially because I care about cute lambs but because I was more concerned about the global impact of the chain, of food production and consumption. And so the project is a reflection of my ideals."

"Flash Of Light" Hits Bermuda As Softbank Team Japan Launch Boat
SoftBank Team Japan have become the fifth America's Cup team to launch their America's Cup Class (ACC) yacht.

The yacht, named "Hikari", was unveiled at the team's base in Bermuda in front of a crowd which included team members, guests from Bermuda, Japan and around the world. The name "Hikari", which means "flash of light" was chosen from over 430 entries by fans in a competition run throughout Japan by SoftBank Corp in the lead-up to the yacht's unveiling.

After pouring a ceremonial "masu" (a traditional measuring cup made of Cyprus to serve sake) of Hakkaisan Sake over the bow of the new yacht, Tatsuro Kurisaka, Vice President of the Communications Division of SoftBank Corp., revealed the name to the public for the first time and then, with the crowd looking on, Shinto Priest Kai Guji then performed a Japanese Oharai purification ceremony for the new boat.

Kai Guji travelled to Bermuda from Kagoshima, Japan and brought with him special talismans he had collected from several different Japanese Shinto shrines to bless the sailors, the yacht, and the weather.

While "Hikari" may look, to the untrained eye, similar to the yachts launched by many of the other America's Cup teams, many of the biggest advantages continue to be hidden out of sight inside the yacht's hulls where the high-tech mechanisms required for sustained foiling are installed.

"I think we've seen differences in all the boats but the biggest unknown is what's hidden in the hulls - how do the control systems work and how well the boats operate.

"That will be the untold story and the biggest determiner of success. We're very happy with our systems but we know there's still much to do until the start of the 35th America's Cup."

Dongfeng Captured By Drone
With just 240 days to go until race start, Dongfeng Race Team's on-water training is already well underway – as seen in this epic drone footage taken in Lisbon.

Charles Caudrelier's team is the first to take delivery of their re-fitted Volvo Ocean 65 ahead of the 2017-18 edition, and he will be looking to make the most of that time advantage as he tests out potential sailors.

Whoever makes it onboard the Chinese boat will need to be at the top of their game – the French skipper is looking to improve on last race's third placed finish, by getting his hands on the Volvo Ocean Race trophy.

Be Afraid
Seahorse Magazine Something that seemed 'out there' just a few years ago is now making its way firmly into the mainstream. It is also winning yacht races... Gordon Kay has an update on DSS state of the art

ith the monohull world increasingly embracing foils it seems timely to reflect on some of the lessons learnt over the past year and how 2017 and beyond look for the impact of DSS and for the other foil solutions in the 2017 marketplace..

While dramatic footage of semi-flying or flying yachts gets the headlines it is the background story that is perhaps more significant. In 15 years of developing, engineering and supplying DSS foils and installing them on various yachts we have never had a failure beyond the cracking of one foil, quickly identified as a failure by the builder to build the hull exit bearing surface as drawn. It is therefore quite thought-provoking to see the failure level in some other avenues of foil development.

Full article in the March issue of Seahorse:

Cruising Club Of America Names Annual Award Recipients
The Cruising Club of America (CCA) selected Michael J. Johnson (Santa Fe, N.M.) to receive the Club's Blue Water Medal for 2016, awarded for his extensive cruising for over 40 years, covering more than 125,000 nautical miles and including an east-to-west circumnavigation below the five great southern capes. The Board of Governors established this award to recognize "a meritorious example of seamanship."

The Cruising Club of America (CCA) has selected Gavin Reid (Devon, UK) to receive the Club's 2016 Rod Stephens Trophy for Outstanding Seamanship for his selfless action in swimming over to a vessel in distress and singlehandedly rescuing one of its crew members trapped at the top of the mast. The trophy is given "for an act of seamanship that significantly contributes to the safety of a yacht or one or more individuals at sea."

The Cruising Club of America (CCA) selected Erik de Jong (Sitka, Alaska) to receive the Club's first Young Voyager Award awarded for his extensive voyages made from an early age. The Board of Governors established this award to recognize "a young sailor who has made one or more exceptional voyages."

The Cruising Club of America (CCA) selected Cabot and Heidi Lyman (Cushing, Maine) to receive the Club's Far Horizons Award for 2016 in recognition of their extensive offshore cruising, which includes their 1987-90 circumnavigation. The award will be presented at the CCA's annual Awards Dinner at the New York Yacht Club in New York on March 3, 2017. The Board of Governors established the award to recognize a member or members of CCA for "a particularly meritorious cruise or series of cruises that exemplify the objects of the Club as stated in its Constitution.

The Cruising Club of America (CCA) selected John F. Towle (Falmouth, Mass.) to receive the Club's Richard S. Nye Award for 2016, awarded for his meritorious service to the Cruising Club of America and the Boston Station over a period of twenty-four years.

The Board of Governors established the award to recognize a member of CCA "who has brought distinction to the Club by meritorious service, outstanding seamanship, outstanding performance in long distance cruising or racing, statesmanship in the affairs of international racing, or any combination of the above."

The awards will be presented at the CCA's annual Awards Dinner at the New York Yacht Club in New York on March 3, 2017.

Foiling Features at RYA Suzuki Dinghy Show
The RYA Suzuki Dinghy Show (04-05 March, Alexandra Palace London) will be celebrating the developments in the sport and showcasing a fantastic range foiling features throughout the show

Land Rover BAR (Ben Ainslie Racing)

Experience the feeling of flying in an America's Cup class catamaran with Land Rover BAR (Ben Ainslie Racing), the British Challenger for the 35th America's Cup, who will be returning to the show with interactive exhibits from their Tech Deck, which opened in May 2016 at their Portsmouth team base.

Visitors will be able to see whether they have what it takes to steer the team's foiling catamaran in the stable flight game using oculus goggles, try their hand at designing and testing their own America's Cup Class Catamaran and buy official team merchandise. You will also be able to see the foil tips close up and learn about the technology and innovation that makes these boats fly!

The future of foiling

Also on the Suzuki Mainstage (14:30) design innovators and top sailors Mike Lennon (2016 European Moth Champion) and Alan Hillman (part of the team behind the F101) will be joining forces to share their foiling secrets, and insight into how to get involved in the sport and where it's heading.

Finally don't miss the chance to get close to the very latest foiling designs on display in Palm Court including The Vampire Project and the eagerly awaited Waspz. You'll also discover other foiling favourites exhibiting throughout the show including the Whisper (stand C58) and the foiling Nacra17 (stand B80).

The World Sailing Show
New wave of young talent

From big names jumping ship to exciting new talent, the World Cup Series in Miami set the pace for a busy and exciting 2017 season.

Part One:

Making Ocean Racing Safer - For Sailors - and Whales
The moment when I first saw a whale close-up is one of the memories etched on my mind. I was on the bow of Ireland's first entry in the Round the World Yacht race in the Atlantic in May of 1990 when it happened. Suddenly, a huge whale was alongside us, so close I felt I could touch it. NCB Ireland was 85 feet long and the whale seemed, to my eyes, to be just as big and very close to the boat. I was awed by this magnificent creature which had emerged from the ocean and seemed to be staring at me. Having paced NCB for a while it effortlessly moved away, so much more part of the ocean world than us humans aboard NCB. I felt breathless as it disappeared from sight.

British Zoologist, Mark Carwardine, described such an experience well in his 'Last Chance to See' series on BBC Radio 4: "To have a huge whale approach your boat and look you straight in the eye is without doubt one of the most extraordinary experiences on the planet."

That memory came to mind when Ireland's top ocean racer, Damian Foxall, wrote to me in his present role as Recreation Education Manager at the Canadian Wildlife Federation. As the number of ocean yacht races increases, he is running a campaign to help scientists better understand areas of the world's oceans where marine mammals are at risk of being struck by boats. Increasingly during these races there have been reports of yachts striking unidentified objects. "Currently the database for marine mammal strikes is very sparse," he says. "We want to assemble reports of boats striking them. If everyone co-operates it will help plan future racing safely." -- Tom MacSweeney in Afloat:

If you can help Damian's campaign you can Email him to:

Listen to Tom MacSweeney's podcast here

A Few Tips For The Racing Rules For 2017
First off, start by brushing up on the Definitions. There are some new ones this year but they don't have much to do with the sailing rules. The older definitions haven't changed and they contain plenty of "meat and potatoes" as far as understanding the rules are concerned. Take some time and read them carefully, it will be time well spent.

By far, the biggest change to the rules of Part 2 is in Rule 18.3 (Tacking in the Zone). Now it only applies to port roundings and only to a boat that tacks to starboard tack within the zone and another boat that has been on starboard since entering the zone. In other words, if two port tack boats tack to starboard in the zone, 18.3 will not apply to that situation.

When 18.3 applies, the requirements for compliance are the same as they were before. Specifically, the boat that tacked cannot cause the boat that has been on starboard to sail above close hauled to avoid her and if the starboard boat becomes overlapped to leeward, she must be given mark-room.

Starboard roundings, while seldom used by Race Committees, are the same interesting tactical situation that they have always been.

New rule 18.2 (d) tells you when a boat that was entitled to mark-room is no longer so entitled. This is the spot where you must understand the definition of mark-room. The shut off does not necessarily happen by just getting around the mark. It may also include room to tack or gybe if such maneuvers are "necessary to sail the course". -- Adam Loory

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The Last Word
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