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USA On Top At Farr 40 European Championship 2010
Porto Rotondo, Italy: Day One of the Farr 40 European Championship 2010 saw the ten competing yachts complete two windward-leeward races in light and tricky conditions. Jim Richardson's Barking Mad (USA) with Hamish Pepper on tactics leads the provisional overall classification with a further three race days ahead and as many as eight more races to be run. Behind Richardson is Plenty (USA) - owned by Alex Roepers and with Chris Larson calling tactics - on equal points with Massimo Mezzaroma's Nerone (ITA) in third. Racing continues through Sunday 3rd October in the event organized by the Yacht Club Porto Rotondo in conjunction with the Farr 40 Class Association and the Farr 40 European Fleet.
Jim Richardson, owner of Barking Mad, was understandably pleased with the first day's results: "It was very shifty, sometimes there was good breeze and sometimes there wasn't, but we did a pretty good job of sailing the shifts and being in the right place on the course and it worked out pretty well."
On his win in the second race Richardson commented: "We rounded the leeward gate fourth with Plenty leading Struntje and Mangusta. Struntje and Mangusta then went to the left hand side of the course and we went right, Mangusta came back with us and Plenty tacked off and went right and the left filled in with pressure and we got around all of them. Then we had a run to the finish neck and neck with Mangusta the whole way and we just nipped them at the finish line."
Racing is scheduled to continue tomorrow, Friday 1st October, at 11 am. North-westerly winds of 12 to 14 knots are predicted.
Or follow the Farr 40 class on Facebook and Twitter. Live information from the race course is available on Twitter.
Publication of the AC72 Rule for the 34th America's Cup
Since the publication of the first draft on 16 September 2010, feedback has been received from teams and the draft re-formatted as a Class Rule document.
A new draft will be issued on or before 6 October 2010.This will allow further opportunity for feedback.
The Defender and Challenger of Record have agreed an amendment to the Protocol for the 34th America's Cup to permit this short delay in publishing the AC72 Class Rule, which had been due on 30 September 2010.
Competitor information can be found under ACRM on www.americascup.com
The Protocol amendment will be posted as an Official Document on www.americascup.com . ACRM extends its thanks to Peter Melvin and the staff of Morrelli & Melvin and others involved in the rule drafting.
Back to the Roots
Saint-Tropez, France: Back in the early 1980s, a competition was borne in a bar between two amiable sailors. On a fall day in 1981, skipper Jean Laurain had stopped in St Tropez after extended cruising in the Mediterranean. There, Laurain met an American, Dick Jayson who was cruising on his Swan 44. After talking about the merits of their boats, soon a race, and a bet, was on. The stakes were simple: the loser would buy dinner for the winner at the legendary Club 55, a bar and restaurant on Pampelonne Beach in Saint-Tropez.
That race was the roots of what became La Nioulargue and now Les Voiles de Saint-Tropez, a celebration of friendly competition. So midway through the week of racing, today is the Challenge Day, wherein one boat challenges another, or several to their own race.
This year there were 14 challenges, with the center stage today a battle of the giant Fifes for the Club 55 Cup: the 40 metre cutter-rigged Cambria versus Mariquita, the 38 metre gaff cutter. The course was 15 nautical miles from the start off St Tropez around the Nioulargue mark, then to the finish line off Pampelonne beach. The other challengers agreed to courses - of varying lengths depending on conditions - between themselves. Today's breeze of eight knots at the start, built to 15 knots during the day, before dropping off again towards the end of racing. In a rematch, and replay of last year, it was Cambria who beat Mariquita.
Another of the challenges between slightly smaller, but no less important boats that, in their own way, embody the spirit of the regatta, was one between the Sparkman & Stephens yawls, the 16.3 metre Stormy Weather (1934) and the 17 metre Argyll (1948), and the 15 metre sloop, White Wings (1948) designed by John Alden. All were, and still are, well-built, ocean racing yachts, with pedigrees to prove it.
Stormy Weather, helmed by designers Rod & Olin Stephens, won the New York - Bergen TransAtlantic Race and the Fastnet Race the year after she was launched, and the Newport Bermuda Race a year later in 1936. Still in winning form in 2001, she came first in class at the America's Cup Jubilee in Cowes.
White Wings, a John Alden-designed cutter, was originally built for a family in Toronto, and was the flagship of the Royal Toronto YC.
The S&S designed Argyll, was very recently acquired by the Welsh comedian and actor, Griff Ryhs-Jones. Ryhs-Jones has another classic boat (the Philip Rhodes-designed sloop, Undina) which he divides his attention - and sail inventory - on, but it is Argyll that has really caught his eye.
The 60-year old boat has indeed, over the past ten years, undergone a meticulous refit to the double-planked mahogany hull and teak decks, as well as the interior and exterior joinery, and spars, much of the work done by MB Yachts in Dorchester, UK. Standing onboard the boat with its' varnished mahogany trim glinting in the sun, Rhys-Jones allows, "Perhaps a bit too pampered to go racing."
As one of the last challenges to go off, the trio enjoyed half a dozen lead changes on their 14 nautical mile course out to the Nioulargue buoy, across to a mark off St. Raphael, and to the finish off the Tour du Portalet in Saint-Tropez. By race end, White Wings perservered, and led Stormy Weather and Argyll across the finish line. For the three classic yachts it was all part of an ongoing personal, and fun, competition. Tomorrow they'll be back with the pack as regular fleet racing continues.
On Friday, 1 October racing begins with a schedule 11am start for the Modern division and 12noon for the Tradition division.
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Bermuda's Renre Junior Gold Cup
Kiwi Olivia McKay will press the twins and is expected to be top girl. Olivia was top girl in the New Zealand Opti Championship and 3rd place overall. She was also 3rd in the 2008 Junior Gold Cup, right behind Chris Wiliford.
Other girls are Meredith Megarry, two-time Canadian National Champion, and Justina Pacheco from the Dominican who was fourth female at the North American Championship and 19th overall. She was also 11th at the ScotiaBank Regatta and 3rd female there. Another repeat competitor is 12-year-old Odile van Aanholt from the Netherland Antilles who was top girl and 6th overall at Kiel Golden Optimist regatta in Germany.
Recent Danish National Champion Frederik Rask, who has been on fire recently, will also be in the medal hunt. Frederik was 1st in the Lake Garda Meeting, defeating 646 EU competitors, 1st in the Polish Open Championships, 2nd in the Belgium International Opti Spring Regatta and 6th in the Dutch Youth Regatta.
The skipper's ages range from 11-15yrs with three of the international sailors being girls and we have twelve different nations from North America, Europe, Oceania and the Caribbean represented.
The Renaissance Re Junior Gold Cup web pages may be reached by clicking on the logo or through the RenRe Jr Gold Cup menu tab on the Argo Group Gold Cup home page www.argogroupgoldcup.com
80 Junior Sailors Prepare for the 2010 Bahamas Optimist National Championship
"I am delighted that this year's event has attracted so much interest. It's great to see the family islands so well represented and we look forward to welcoming their junior sailors to Nassau" said John Lawrence, President of the Bahamas Sailing Association that is staging the Championship along with the Nassau Yacht Club and the Royal Nassau Sailing Club.
"With such a high level of participation in this regatta, in addition to the boats supplied by the local clubs, we have borrowed extra Opti from Lyford Cay, Abaco and Freeport" explained John.
Competition is expected to be fierce for the national honours, with last year's champion, Danny De Cardenas (RNSC) expected to defend his title. The weather could well play its part this year with the current strong winds being forecast to die down by the weekend. The Race Committee, who take charge of organizing the regatta hope to be able to stage seven races over Saturday and Sunday, starting at 10am each day.
Top Sailors Come Head To Head
In its 24th year, the Bitter End Yacht Club's Pro Am Regatta takes place from 30 October - 6 November, in the British Virgin Islands. This unique sailing event brings together America's Cup skippers, Olympic medalists, Around the World race winners and world champions, to head up teams of Bitter End Yacht Club holiday resort guests in an action-packed week of race, social events and parties. 2010 sees an all star line up including America's Cup legends Russell Coutts, Dean Barker, Peter Holmberg and Ken Read; Volvo Ocean Race skipper Paul Cayard and Olympic medalists Zach Riley and Anna Tunnicliffe.
The Pro Am has been running for over 23 years, in a format that would be almost impossible to replicate anywhere other than in the Caribbean.
The format for the Pro Am involves a series of round the cans fleet races, plus a semi finals and finals featuring match racing in IC24s. There's also some lively and fun racing in Lasers and Hobies, and a short handicap race.
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The 6th China Club Challenge Match
The event disproves the somewhat exaggerated claims of other events ot be the first keelboat regatta in China and the pride of the grassroots sailors who started the event and helped it developed is palpable, and rightly so.
The China Club Challenge Match started as an America's Cup type challenge between ironrock Sailing Club and ZhuHai Sailing Club in 2005. The boats however weren't quite so grand - they were a couple of beat up old J24s.
Team numbers have climbed steadily year on year and while there are obviously some there just for fun - and there is nothing wrong with that - and others for the experience, the top teams are both serious and capable.
A popular part of the event in the past, set to continue this year, is the evening debriefings started a couple of years ago by the then Chief Umpire, Nev Whittey, who himself had a couple of America's Cups as umpire under his belt. These have always been well attended and judging by the number of questions raised and the fact they usually overrun are considered worthwhile by the sailors.
The umpires this year hail from Australia, Scotland, Sweden, England and of course China and include match race champions in their own right. Their role for the first half of the event bein gone the water witnesses and of course gathering material for their evening debriefing sessions while in the latter part of the week sees them as on the water umpires responding to the, what if last year is anything to go by, frequent waving of the 'Y' flag.
I suspect that part of the reason for the event's popularity with the competitors is that very fact that it is closely umpired and seen to be run with the utmost fairness and a strict adherence to the rules ensuring the best boat wins on the day.
Defending champions Seawolf from Longcheer Yacht Club in Shenzhen will likely have their work cut out if they are hang on to the trophy they won so well in 2009 - there are a lot of sailors that would like it displayed in their home club. -- Alistair Skinner
La Route du Rhum - La Banque Postale: An Exceptional Line-Up for 2010
An exceptional lineup. Some highlights:
Two members of the two families are competing in the Route du Rhum - La Banque Postale. Herve and Joris de Carlan, father and son. Franck-Yves and Servane Escoffier, uncle and niece.
Three women are competing in the race. Servane Escoffier (Saint-Malo 2015 in the Ultimate class), Christine Monlouis (Un monde bleu tout en vert in the Rhum Class) and Anne Caseneuve (Naviguez Anne Caseneuve in the Multi50).
Five former winners of the Route du Rhum - La Banque Postale are competing again this year (Roland Jourdain, Thomas Coville in 1998, Lionel Lemonchois in 2006, Franck-Yves Escoffier in 2006 and 2002 and Michel Desjoyeaux in 2002 ).
Seven Class40s built in 2010 and registered for the Route du Rhum - La Banque Postale. Four Pogo 40 S2s (Nicolas Troussel, Regis Guillemot, Damien Grimont and Jean-Edouard Criquioche), two Akilaria RC 2 (Philippe Fiston and Pete Goss) and one Tyker 40 Evolution (Eric Defert).
Nine nationalities are represented in this 9th edition (New Zealander, Italian, Dutch, Swiss, Belgian, German, Norwegian, Spanish, Finnish and American).
The youngest skipper of the event, Joris de Carlan is just 22. From nearby Saint Brieuc the youngster will set off on 31st October aboard the oldest boat of the fleet, Generik - Exp'hair, a 12.6 m boat built by his father and uncle in 1972 and launched in 1976.
The oldest racer of the fleet, Gilbert Chollet is 50. This Breton business manager, who has just recently retired, will be taking part in his first Route du Rhum - La Banque Postale in the Class40, Chimirec EVTV.
This beautiful and probably most refined of the Open 40 racing designs from Group Finot was designed and built for the 2001 Transat Jacqus Vabres. In 2002 she was purchased, refitted and renamed Spirit of Yukoh for the 2003 Around Alone Race. Finishing first in class she won the Harry Mitchell award proving to be the fastest among the Open 40's. In 2005 she undertook a major refit which was carried out by Open 60 preparateur/project manager Brian Harris at the Maine Yacht centre. She was fitted with a state of the art interior pod and all the ships systems and equipment were renewed. Sails and handling equipment were upgraded again in 2007 again to a high standard and specification.Anasazi Girl departed from the North Eastern United States in late 2006 and sailed non-stop to Cape Town. She then circumnavigated Cape Town to Cape Town with one stop in New Zealand. The last leg from Cape Town was carried out with a short stop in Bermuda. The yacht was inspected in the summer of 2009 for Boatshed by Merfyn Owen of Owen Clarke Design
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