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Over The Top Of Sicily
Valletta, Malta: With the frontrunner, Esimit Europa 2 halfway down the track to Favignana and Maretimo, at around 13.30 ICAP Leopard made a bold move, heating up about 45 degrees off the rhumb line to avoid a windless area, and in a bid for speed. Alegre and the following pack of a dozen or so 50-footers - E1, Pace, Lucky, Wild Joe, Cantankerous, Latetia, Dralian, Brave, Ambersail, and Altair 3 - are now around Stromboli. Behind them a steady procession of the fleet continues straight back to Messina.
The Slovenian maxi, Esimit, may be in pole position for line honours but there is a tense battle for the overall lead on corrected time. Yachts from three different classes occupy the podium positions at the Messina checkpoint.
Lee Satariano and Christian Ripard's J/122, Artie, from the Royal Malta Yacht Club, is leading on corrected time at Messina. Ripard has won the race before and is recognised as one of the finest yachtsmen in Malta.
Just over an hour behind the overall leader is American Bryon Ehrhart's TP52, Lucky, from the New York Yacht Club, which is very much in contention. There are three boats scrapping for third place overall: Royal Malta Yacht Club member Soenke Stein's J/133, Juno, Martino Orambelli's Italian Swan 45, Mandolino and Spanish Swan 56, La Floresta del Mar, skippered by Jaime Olazabal. Johnny Vincent's British TP52, Pace is also vying for honours and is lying in fifth place overall.
George David's Rambler (USA) established the current Course Record of 47 hours, 55 minutes, and 3 seconds in 2007.
To break this record, a Class 1 leader would have to finish on Monday morning before 11.35am.
One Week Until the Start of the Route di Rhum La Banque Postale
At the early morning locking in on Friday, just as the sun was rising, sure enough there was a posse of IMOCA Open 60's arriving to take their place in the Duguay-Trouin Basin. So too Sidney Gavignet's giant Arabian 100 Oman Air Majan moored up on cue in Vauban Basin, ready to line up in a nine strong clash of the titans, the Ultime class which will certainly by one key focal point for the huge number of visitors who are expected to make the odyssey to Saint Malo over the coming days.
The last edition of the Route du Rhum La Banque Postale, in 2006, attracted over 1.2m visitors over the ten days leading up to the start.
Two entries remain in the balance. A decision is expected once a structural survey has been completed this evening on the Class 40, L'Express-Sapmer of Pierre-Yves Lautrou who was hit by a fishing boat off Cape Frehel on Wednesday night whilst on delivery passage here. The journalist-skipper's boat sustained a hole in the port side of about 1 metre across. And in the Ultime class Philippe Monnet is still trying to secure his budget to fulfil his place as the ninth entry in this exciting class.
The nine strong IMOCA Open 60 class will feature all three of the new 2010 launched boats. Vincent Riou's PRB has already finished second in the round Spain Vuelta Espana race this summer, but this will be the first big test for Jean Pierre Dick's Virbac Paprec 3 as well as Michel Desjoyeaux's new Foncia which was only launched last month.
* Arriving in Saint Malo Friday, Pete Goss is back in the world of solo ocean racing after a 13 year absence. It is not in any way that his epic 1996 Vendee Globe experience, fighting back upwind for two days in hurricane force winds to rescue Raphael Dinelli from a liferaft in the Southern Ocean, closed his chapter of solo and short handed racing. In fact Goss's life of adventure has followed a zig zag course, which has been driven by diverse ambitions and varied opportunities and, and neither have really focussed his attentions back to solo racing since then. Until now.
His return, for his first ever Route du Rhum, is an entirely unexpected opportunity. He was approached out of the blue by a successful British entrepreneur Tony Lawson who offered him the chance to do this race as part of a double-edged programme for Team Concise.
Lawson's objective is to help bring on younger British skippers and crew by giving them a top level platform to compete offshore with. This is the second year of the programme and Concise 2 is their second Class 40, a new Marc Lombard Akilaria design.
Despite his relative lack of time on the boat, which so far probably amounts to less than 20 days in total and maybe 2000 miles - including delivering the boat to Gijon for the 2010 world championships Goss says he feels completely at home on the boat, as he might with some 250,000 ocean miles under his belt.
"Some boats like to please you and others you feel like you have to work for every mile, and this is a very happy boat. I am really delighted with her and could not really want for anything else. The miles I have done have been quality miles, though I have to say we have not been through a big blow, but I feel like with the experience I have that does not worry me too much."
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AC Paris Meeting
Representatives of 24 potential challengers, many of whom will fall by the wayside, made it clear at a meeting in Paris on Friday that raising funds and support depended on having a fuller picture.
After leading a meeting held in a Place de la Republique only mildly disrupted by firecrackers, demonstrators and riot police, the chief executive of America's Cup Race Management, Iain Murray, said: "Of course, they want to know everything now, especially the venues for the Cup and the America's Cup World Series which leads up to it. It is frustrating for them, but it is frustrating for us, too.
"They want a complete story to take out to a market place which is not very strong. We hope to announce something in the next 30 days."
The meeting, a prelude to regular competitor forums which will begin in Dubai next month, attracted many new faces from the worlds of multihull sailing - the next Cup will be in 72-foot wing sail catamarans - and the Olympics.
But they are all short of time for an entry window which opens on 1 November and a regatta programme which starts in late June or July next year. The need for major design funding is also paramount. -- Stuart Alexander
* While it is expected that the eventual number of teams competing in 2013 will be a lot less, there was some surprise at the geographical spread, ACRM saying that the 45 representatives came from 13 different countries.
*CupInfo.com has a nice compendium of where the teams, and prospective teams, stand:
85 Years Of Olympic Sailing Experience
Both Provinces have decided to support the Vintage Yachting Games 2012 in several ways. Among other support the Province of Lecco offered the use of the "Villa Monastero" for our prize giving ceremony. This villa is one of the most interesting examples of eclectic style residence on the Lake Como. The Villa was originally built to accommodate the cistercensian monastery of Santa Maria, first quoted in a document dated 1208. Since 1963 the villa is an international cultural and scientific centre.
After the successful first Vintage Yachting Games of 2008 in Medemblik, with participation from 23 countries, the founding classes of the movement welcomed several new classes into the Organization. At this moment the 10 classes will compete at the 2012 edition. Together they represent then 85 years of Olympic Sailing Experience.
The 2012 event will be held in the Northern part of Lake Como in the area between the cities of Bellano and Gravedona. The event is scheduled from 7 - 15 July 2012. On the last day of the event a final race is scheduled for the winners of each class. This race will be sailed in the 12' Dinghy for a special trophy. In most classes two teams per country will be selected by their National class organization. Others like the O-Jolle, Tempest and 5.5 Metre have a different number per country. The winners of the 2008 edition will have a wildcard. Also the host country and International class organization can select an extra team per class. For the 12' Dinghy the host country will supply equipment.
Finnaly the bidding process for the 2016 edition of the Vintage Yachting Games is opened. Bidding forms are available for interested NA's or Yacht clubs. Interest is already shown by Germany, Hungary and Romania.
For more information in the Vintage Yachting Games see our new site on www.vintageyachtinggames.org
Jeremy Koo Heads to the Monsoon Cup
Kuala Terengannu, Malaysia: The curtain came down on the Malaysian Match Racing Championship (MMRC) after a dramatic Finals day in which Jeremy Koo (Koo Racing Team-Evernew) defeated his sister and the two-time champion Tiffany Koo (Koo Racing Team) to claim the title and duly earn his team a coveted place in next month's World Match Racing Tour (WMRT) finale, the Monsoon Cup.
Both sailors had battled hard in their respective Semi-Finals to claim a place in the Final, with Tiffany Koo defeating defending champion Hazwan Hazim Dermawan (Team Pulse-AC Law) 3-1, thus keeping up the MMRC tradition of always having a female sailor in the Final.
The lighter winds which had been dictating the style of sailing all week gave way to stronger winds in the Final, a change which Jeremy felt favoured him in his 3-0 victory having been knocked out in the 2009 Semi Final.
With one of the qualifying places for the Monsoon Cup now filled, that leaves the competition at the Asian Match Racing Championship (AMRC) and the Sunseeker Australia Cup to fight it out for the remaining two.
The Monsoon Cup is the season ending race on the World Match Racing Tour. The world's top sailors will all be in Terengganu with five skippers still in the race to be crowned World Champion.
Malaysian Match Racing Championships 2010 Results
The Wrecking Crew by Mark Chisnell
Phillip Hamnet left port at the helm of the MV Shawould, apparently master of his vessel and his destiny. But others had a different agenda on that evil night in the South China Sea - like drug warlord Janac, using piracy to fund his battle for control of the Australian narcotics trade.
The sequel to The Defector is now available in all major e-book formats as a free download:
Genny Tulloch and Crew Wins Rolex Osprey Cup
Although a lack of breeze cut short the second round-robin on the penultimate day of racing, there was enough wind on the final day (Saturday, October 23) of the four-day regatta for the Race Committee from St. Petersburg Yacht Club to run a four-race semi-finals, followed by five races in the first-to-win three final that determined the winner.
In the petit-final series, Lovell defeated Dellenbaugh 3-2 to finish third overall in the series, while the remaining six teams sailed the consolation round to determine fifth through tenth place.
Bentley Geneva Match Race
As a new group, what's the approach this weekend?
When did you last race a Surprise?
Bentley Geneva Match race was sailed from 22-24 October at the the Societe Nautique de Geneve.
1. Bertrand Pace, FRA
Tanguy De Lamotte Enters the Global Ocean Race
Lamotte has a formidable track record in Class40 and will have considerable competitive impact on the GOR fleet. In 2008, he won the Class40 World Championships and the Marblehead-Halifax Race. Last year, Lamotte was Class40 winner of the Rolex Fastnet Race and the double-handed Class40 race, La Solidaire du Chocolat: a gripping transatlantic event with Lamotte and co-skipper, Adrien Hardy, defending pole position against Giovanni Soldini on Telecom Italia and Bernard Stamm on Cheminees Poujoulat.
As yet, Lamotte is unsure whether he will enter using his existing 2007 Rogers Design Class40.
Tanguy de Lamotte's GOR campaign is the fourth French entry in the race following Patrice Carpentier's team; the duo of Jacques Fournier and Jean-Edouard Criquioche with Groupe Picoty and the Franco-English duo of Halvard Mabire and Miranda Merron.
Cherry Picks Up A Third RYA National Match Racing Title
Overcoming double defending champion Mark Campbell-James, who was looking likely to rack up a three straight wins hat-trick this year sailing with his newly crowned Extreme 40 Series Champion brother Paul; Cherry, kept his nerve right up until the last possible race clinching the 2010 title in a thrilling final showdown.
The petit final saw Women's World Match Racing Champions Lucy Macgregor and Annie Lush, plus crew, beat higher ISAF ranked skipper Ali Hall in three straight wins ensuring a well-deserved podium spot for this week's Busan Women's International Match Race, (Korea) bound team.
Racing was tight across all ten teams sailing at the Grand Final, and youngest competing skipper, James French, made a great event debut beating World University Match Racing Champion Andrew Shaw in one of his races.
Long standing Umpire, Chris Simon, joined Cherry in taking home an accolade from the weekend picking up the Paul Banner trophy for his sportsmanship and outstanding contribution to International Umpiring; the event marking his retirement from his international role. -- Ellie Williamson
2010 RYA National Match Racing Championships final standings:
1. Nick Cherry - Matt Adams, Ed Hill, Connor Myant
Hornblower is an excellent example of this hugely successful one design fleet. Since her delivery she has only been used for class racing hence her interior is in an immaculate condition. She has always been maintained to the highest standard by her owners.
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