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Manroland Tornado World Championship
The first two races were reasonably clean starts but on the third race a number of boats were OCS but continued without realising. At the start of the second race an incident involving an Italian team that parked just off the line and a German team saw the later going up the back and resting the bows on the Italian's trampoline.
By the end of the third race the wind was much stronger with a fantastic downwind leg for the competitors.
There have been a few swims and breakages but everyone is working to get the boats fixed for Day 2.
The AGM was also held last night with lots of sailors keen to get involved and help on the Committee and do their bit to try to get the Tornados back into the Olympics.
New ITA Committee
President - Roland Gaebler (GER)
* Report above from Day 1, no Day 2 report at press time but results posted:
1. Roland Gabler / Nahid Gabler, GER, 5 points
La Solitaire Du Figaro
The 45 competitors taking part in the 2010 edition of the classic summer solo race, La Solitaire du Figaro, are set to sail from Le Havre for Gijón on a 515 nautical mile leg tomorrow, Tuesday 27th July; the first of four stage race over the course of the next four weeks. With 8 rookies geared up for their first participation, 5 non French sailors wishing to leave their mark and 3 women including the return of Karinne Fauconnier, the 2010 line up promises to produce some memorable racing.
The weather forecasts vary and there could be either very light wind for the start of up to 10/12 knots from the northwest depending on which module you look at, explains Sylvain Mondon (Meteo France). "In the worst case we could have little and variable breeze for the start or if we look at the more favourable modules, we could see the northwesterly breeze established for the upwind run to the Cotentin headland for the first night. The breeze should freshen up and we could see up to 25 knots as it backs to the west and the turning tide, which will make for a tough first night of racing." Continues Mondon. Once the fleet round the Brittany point, with the wind of the beam, the forecast is for the breeze to lighten providing for a comfortable run with some it should be a straight down wind run towards Spain. "We can expect to see the first reach Gijon in the early hours of Saturday" predicts Mondon, if the forecasts do not develop and change too much.
The worlds leading solo sailors inevitably pass through the challenge of participating in the classic Figaro race. This 41st edition is no different. We see experienced sailors returning to hone their skills against the young future stars aiming to leave their mark. Previous winners include Jeremie Beyou (BPI), Kito de Pavant (Groupe Bel), Eric Drouglazet (Luisina), Armel le Cleac'h (Brit Air) and Nicholas Lunven (Generali).
* French title holder Gildas Morvan (Cercle Vert) won the Prologue Suzuki in the waters of Le Havre, second place goes to Ronan Treussart (Lufthansa) and third toThomas Rouxel (Credit Mutuel de Bretagne). An action packed prologue: light breeze, tidal flow and four starting procedures. Eight boats fall victim of a black flag start, including past winners Kito de Pavant and Jeremie Beyou.
* And this is just wrong... Thierry Chabagny will not participate at the race this summer due to a lack of sponsorship. He finished 4th in 2009 and 2nd in 2006.
Start of the 1st leg: Tuesday 27th July
Volvo Laser SB3 World Championships
Conditions were lively on both race courses, with a constant 18 knots of wind at the start of racing. The Gold Fleet, enthusiastic as ever to get race 13 underway were recalled having jumped the line with 15 seconds to the gun. With the well worn black flag raised, and the course re-set after a 20 degree wind shift the Gold Fleet were underway for their penultimate race of the Championship. Ian Ainslie (RSA) and crew pulled out a great lead on the fleet in the first lap of the windward leeward course and finished the race over a minute ahead of Geoff Carveth (GBR) in second place. Jerry Hill (GBR) finished eighth, Luca Rodion (RUS) finished ninth and Craig Burlton (GBR) finished tenth. It was all to play for in the final race.
Yet again the fleet were recalled on the first attempt of starting the final race of the championships and only got away after the black flag was hoisted. The glorious Garda sunshine finally ran out as the fleet beat to the windward mark, the black clouds burst and the wind dropped to 8 knots and swung back 30 degrees. The Race Officer was in a quandary; finish the race in unstable conditions or shorten the course after the first lap? As the fleet were making their final approaches to the leeward gate, the race committee raised the Tango flag and signalled to the fleet to finish. Unfortunately for many of the fleet, the flag was not recognised and only a canny few held their kites and carried on to the finish line.
32 boats in the Gold Fleet did not react to the Tango flag and continued to sail the course leaving them outside the 15 minute time limit for the Championship and as a result added a "Did Not Finish" (DNF) results to their score sheet. As the fleet came ashore and realised their mistake, their faces feel and disappointment soared. A disappointing finish for many Championship campaigns.
In 2011 the Laser SB3 World Championships will be hosted by the Royal Torbay Yacht Club, Torquay, UK from Monday 16th - Friday 20th May.
Final top five
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OK Dinghy Europeans
In the first race, Pawel Pawlaczyk (POL) led round the top mark from Antoni Pawlowski (POL) and Alistair Deaves (NZL). On the final beat Pawlowski maintained his lead with Rakocy in second and Curtis climbing to third, with another Pole Marek Jarocki (POL) finding a big shift to place fourth just ahead of Deaves in fifth.
The wind increased for the second race with newcomer Tim Goodbody leading from start to finish.
Racing continues until Friday 30 July.
Results after 2 races
1. Terry Curtis, GBR, 6
Photos by Norbert Petraucsh at
Longshot Rides Again
In 1993, at Bodega Bay, Russell lon took his last ride on Longshot, his custom Ketterman built trifoiler, which had just been outfitted with new foil wings. She bolted out of the gate a blasted up to near 50 knots when the back stay parted and she "blew up" scattering pieces about the harbor.
Russell emerged shaken but unscathed. Longshots parts were gathered and eventually trucked to Southern California.
Russell soon followed another passion, in protecting the environment and has spent the past 15 years working with projects such a his Blue Water Network and Friends of the Earth Which among other things ended the use of 2 stroke engines on Lake Tahoe and forced the fuel efficiency issues in Washington and Detroit.
Longshot was recently towed back to Watsonville, had a few tweaks and adjustments made and readied for another go at the record books. She Still holds the class A 500 Meter Course record set in 1992 in Tarifa Spain of 43.55 knots according to speedsailing.com. Russell has his sites set a bit higher, that being the overall 500 Meter speed record set by Hydroptere of 51.36 knots set in Hyere's France in 2009.
Full story, video and lots of pics from Erik Simonson at
* Editor: In one of the shots, it shows the team assembling the boat, two of whom will be instantly recognisable to old windsurfers like yours truly: Trevor Baylis and Larry Tuttle.
RC 44 Season Championship Resumes Tuesday Off Valencia
Pieter Heerema of The Netherlands leads his No Way Back crew into action atop the season standings. Last year's season champs have amassed the low score of 8 points on finishes of 3-3-2, but Heerema sees trouble on the horizon.
Three points in arrears is the Russell Coutts-led BMW ORACLE Racing crew aboard Deal Breaker. Torbjorn Tornqvist's Artemis holds third place with 12 points, followed by Chris Bake's Team Aqua with 14 points and Harm Mueller-Speer's Team Sea Dubai in fifth place with 16 points.
Other competitors in the event include Igor Lah's Team Ceeref of Slovenia, BMW ORACLE Racing's Boat 17 led by skipper James Spithill, Guennadi Timtchenko's Katusha of Russia, Daniel Calero's Islas Canarias Puerto Calero and Rene Mangold's AEZ RC44 Sailing Team of Austria.
Typical of RC44 events, the Valencia Cup is structured in two parts. The first part on Tuesday and Wednesday features match racing where the pro sailors are on the helm. Friday, Saturday and Sunday are scheduled fleet race days where the amateur owner-drivers are on the helm.
The conditions are promising for a lively regatta. Valencia's hot summer, with temperatures averaging around 90 degrees, help a strong east/southeasterly sea breeze up to 15 knots develop by mid-afternoon. -- Bernard Schopfer
* After a nearly two-year absence from the racing circuit. the Mascalzone Latino Audi Team is back racing on its own RC44 yacht at the RC44 Valencia Cup, the fourth event of the Championship Tour 2010.
The team of Vincenzo Onorato, who will also take the helm during the fleet races that start on Friday, consists of Tommaso Chieffi, tactician, Matteo Savelli, helmsman in the match races and trimmer in the fleet races, Paul "Flipper" Westlake, mainsail trimmer, Andrea Ballico and Lorenzo De Felice, trimmers, Danilo Arvigo, grinder, Davide "Manolo" Scarpa, pitman, Daniele Fiaschi, bowman and Benedetta Danti, afterguard.
RC 44 Championship Tour 2010
1. No Way Back/Pieter Heerema (NED) 3-3-2 - 8 points
Hannah White Announced as Wight Vodka's 'Brand Czar'
So, what exactly does a Brand Czar do for Wight Vodka? Hannah explains: "First, I'll be marketing and promoting the Wight Vodka brand everywhere I travel. If you're a bar or yacht club on the Atlantic or Pacific coast that I'll be visiting over the coming year, you better have Wight Vodka on the top shelf! Second, I'm launching a news service to the yachting fraternity through a series of Podcasts over the coming 12 months, with a deeper insight into the sailor's competitive and somewhat hectic lifestyle than previously seen. We're calling these Vodcasts in recognition of Wight Vodka's support. Third, in each of my single- and double-handed regattas over the coming year, I'll be carrying the Wight Vodka branding on the boat and our kit. Last but not least, we're going to have fun with this! That's one thing I've witnessed from Ritu and her team at 50° North; they're growing the brand carefully, and enjoying every minute of it."
"This is a significant step forward for the White and Wight brand alliance," said Ritu Manocha, owner of 50° North, the company behind Wight Vodka. "We knew from working with Hannah on her fabulous trans-Atlantic success in the 2009 OSTAR that we wanted to continue with our relationship; 'White and Wight' is such an obviously superb pairing. The hardest part of this relationship was figuring out what to call Hannah: Brand Ambassador? Emissary? Brand Agent (or Secret Agent)? Special Envoy? We went for Brand Czar because it sounded right with just a little edge to it!"
Tack & Gybe Responsibly.
A Finn For Africa
For the first time in nearly 25 years, competitive Finns are now available in South Africa, a country with a long and proud history in Finn sailing. Pata Finns Africa built its first prototype in June after extensive collaboration with Pata Boats in Hungary and with financial assistance from the South African Finn Association and through the International Finn Association's FIDeS programme (Finn International Development Support).
For the project coordinators, Philip Baum and Greg Davis, sailing at the Olympic Games was a long held dream, but, sailing Finns in South Africa, it always remained a dream as the political situation precluded them taking part in their youth.
In the 1950s South Africa was represented in both the Naples and Melbourne Olympics and held its first Finn National Regatta in Durban in 1958, won by Paul Elvstrøm. The class exploded over the next 10 years with 400 Finns being built and imported. The names of Helmut Stauch and Bruce McCurrach were predominant over this period.
At the South African Finn Nationals in 1968, there were 77 Finns on the start line, won appropriately by Paul Elvstrøm again, with Willy Kuhweide second and Bruce McCurrach third. Unfortunately South Africa exited the Olympics in the same year. The growth continued, but at a lesser pace without the Olympic incentive. By 1980, boat numbers had reached 510. The last Finns built in South Africa were 24 years ago in 1986 with boat registrations at 542. Notwithstanding this, apart from one year, there have been Finn Nationals from 1958 through to 2009 with the 2010 championship being held in July. In 2008 the class celebrated its half centenary.
Project director Philip Baum explains more about the landmark project. "The project comes about as a result of a dream of Greg Davis and myself to have South African youth compete in the premier class at the Olympic Games. There is also an ambition to rejuvenate South African Finn sailing."
For more information and how to order a Finn from Pata Finns Africa see the company's new website at: www.patafinnsafrica.com
For more information on the Finn see the International class website at: www.finnclass.org
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