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Ainslie Back On Top as Brits Score Melbourne World Cup Hat-Trick
Ainslie's victory came amid a British clean sweep of the podium spots in the Finn class where he was joined by World Champion Ed Wright, who took silver, and Giles Scott in bronze position, while SKUD Paralympic duo Alexandra Rickham-Niki Birrell and Laser star Nick Thompson secured GBR's other two Sail Melbourne titles.
With the help of three wins in the nine-race qualifying series, the 33-year-old Ainslie went into Saturday's double-points scoring medal race with a six point lead over Giles Scott, the World Championship bronze medallist and winner of summer's Skandia Sail for Gold World Cup event at Weymouth and Portland last summer.
Alexandra Rickham and Niki Birrell sailed a flawless regatta to claim their gold in the SKUD class. Of their eight race series, the two-time World Champions won all eight races to win with a ten-point margin and add Sail Melbourne gold to their previous win at the Sail Sydney warm up event.
Nick Thompson emerged victorious in the Laser class, although didn't take the easy route on his way to World Cup glory. Needing to finish seventh or better to claim the victory, the world silver medallist found himself back in ninth place in the shifting and patchy wind conditions.
Fortunately his two nearest rivals, Australians Tom Burton and Tom Slingsby were, engaged in some match racing and were also near the back of the 10-boat fleet, allowing Thompson to keep hold of the gold. -- Lindsey Bell
The ISAF Sailing World Cup now moves to Miami at the end of January.
Top three Olympic Classes:
Laser Radial Women
Complete results for above and for the 2.4m, Skud 18, Sonar, Laser Radial Men, RSX Youith, Laser 4.7, Optimist, Optimist Green, 29er, 420 and Cadet dinghy: www.yachting.org.au/site/yachting/event/32737/default.html
Hooligan Wins Rolex Trophy - But Limit Gets Her Revenge
The West Australian's helmsman, New Zealander, Gavin Brady, steered the RP62 to a good midline start to be third boat leaving Sydney Heads and coming home in good time to win the race overall.
Wild Oats XI was the first to crack a kite as they rounded South Head, with the Peter Millard/John Honan owned super maxi Lahana snapping at their heels. To the surprise of everyone, Alan Brierty's RP62 Limit was hanging off Lahana's transom, leaving her contemporaries well behind her.
Limit's crew kept their heads together to beat nemesis and near-sistership, Loki, the RP63 owned by Stephen Ainsworth, home by 31 seconds, enough for Limit to claim overall honours after Loki's defeat of them over the past two days.
The series winner, Hooligan, the TP52 owned by Marcus Blackmore (NSW), had a few hiccups on the course and finished the race fourth overall after struggling to get their spinnaker aloft and then tearing it. However, their three wins of the five-race series guaranteed their overall victory and Blackmore was still smiling. "Not our best day, but it doesn't matter, we won the series," he said.
Second overall behind Hooligan was Loki, with Melbourne yachtsman Rob Hanna sailing his TP52 Shogun into third place overall.
Today's 19 nautical mile race and the rest of the Rolex Trophy was an important one. It is an indication of how one's chances might pan out in the Rolex Sydney Hobart at the end of the month and has always acted as a form guide for the race south. -- Di Pearson
Rolex Trophy Rating Series: www.cyca.com.au
Rolex Trophy Passage Series:
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The Farr 30 Worlds are Coming to San Francisco
This will mark the first time in the history of the Class that they will see a World Championship held on the west coast of the United States. San Francisco Bay, with her notorious breeze and strong current is an ideal venue to showcase what the Farr 30 was built for.
"I am truly delighted to have the pleasure of working with the St. Francis Yacht Club and Race Manager John Craig on this historic event. The St. Francis Yacht Club have a long history of hosting world class events with generous hospitality and this is an honor. Racing on the Bay is always a challenging and exciting venture and I couldn't be happier about the venue" said Farr 30 International Class President Deneen Demourkas.
As further information becomes available it will be posted on the Farr 30 International Class website www.farr30.org
First All-Female GOR Team is Confirmed
British yachtswoman, Hannah Jenner, has confirmed that her co-skipper for the double-handed, Class40, Global Ocean Race 2011-12 (GOR) is German sailor, Anna-Maria Renken. Jenner and Renken are currently the only all-girl GOR team.
Hannah Jenner secured her GOR entry in April this year and had originally planned to take advantage of the GOR's Team Entry option and swap co-skippers at each stopover. "When putting together a global race campaign that relies on external funding, you really need a unique selling point," explains the 30 year-old, professional sailor. "I started with the idea of a team entry with the focus on taking young sailors with me, but, in the back of my mind, I also really liked the idea of entering as an all girl team," she continues. "It was just a question of finding the right girl!"
Meanwhile, 20 year-old German sailor, Anna-Marie Renken, was simultaneously planning a GOR campaign with a female co-skipper, but when Renken's co-skipper was forced to withdraw, she contacted Jenner in October and suggested joining forces.
Between them, the duo has sailed over 200,000 nautical miles including valuable ocean racing and shorthanded sailing experience. At 28 years-old, Jenner was the first female skipper in the Clipper Round the World Race and took her team to a podium finish, while Renken has moved to sailing from a windsurfing and semi-pro swimming background as one of the very few female sailors in the German offshore racing circuit and she skippered and trained a German team in the 2009 Rolex Fastnet Race.
Hannah and Anna-Maria will be launching a team website in January. Until then, the duo's latest news can be found at www.hannahjenner.com
Barcelona Race Village Opens
While the Expo was officially opened at 1300hrs, there had already been an early start for the skippers and also Spanish National Radio's live programme 'No es un dia cualqueira' which broadcast from the Expo all morning from 0900hrs.
The skippers started a series of briefings, meeting with Andor Serra, director of the FNOB, to have a first seminar on the start day procedures and protocols, as well as briefings on the security and safety protocols. Race doctor Francesc Bonet was also president.
* Dominique Wavre and Michele Paret's yacht Mirabaud christened today by Ainhoa Arteta. Friends and supporters of the Franco-Swiss team were in Barcelona today to take part in the christening of their yacht Mirabaud by the famous Spanish singer.
Mirabaud & Cie, banquiers prives, have been involved in competitive sailing for many years. From 2003, the bank has also been an avid supporter of classical music, in particular through the 'Mirabaud Concerts' at the Lauenen Chamber Music Festival and in their partnership with the London Philharmonic Orchestra.
As Mirabaud Associate and CEO Antonio Palma explains, "This christening ceremony brings together two of Mirabaud's great passions. We are extremely proud to have Ainhoa Arteta as the yacht's godmother and we are sure she will bring our team plenty of luck."
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Christophe Bullens Set To Restart Velux 5 Oceans Sprint Two
On his return yesterday to the South African port, the second of the five hostports, a team of local volunteers jumped into action to help prepare Christophe's Eco 60 yacht for the second leg which takes the fleet through the mighty Southern Ocean. The yacht's twin rudders were removed countless times by the tireless helpers trying to sort problems with their alignment.
One of the volunteers was Cape Town marine engineer Allan Brink who has given his time generously since Christophe arrived in Cape Town early in December. Allan and his wife own the yacht Voortrekker II which did the BOC Challenge (the forerunner to the Velux 5 Ocean) in 1986 as Tuna Marine with South African solo sailor John Martin. Also helping out was Glenn Drewry, a fitter, turner and tool maker, along with Cape Town harbour master Steven Bentley and his crew Chris Roux.
Christophe is due to go for a test sail this morning where he will calibrate his autopilots. Then if all is well he will head off to join the rest of the fleet en route to New Zealand. Christophe will face a south easterly breeze blowing around 30 knots when he restarts. The rest of the ocean racers are currently stuck trying to fight through a high pressure system blocking their route to the prevailing westerlies they need to send them to Wellington.
Is Newport Back On Track For The America's Cup?
Bernie Wilson, AP Wire:
The person spoke on condition of anonymity because no agreement is in place. Talks with Rhode Island officials resumed after San Francisco's bid faltered. The Golden Gate Yacht Club has not accepted a revised host city agreement passed unanimously by San Francisco's Board of Supervisors on Tuesday and signed by Mayor Gavin Newsom.
GGYC's lead negotiator, Stephen Barclay, and America's Cup Event Authority CEO Craig Thompson flew from San Francisco to Rhode Island on Wednesday, the person said, and Regatta Director Iain Murray was expected to arrive from Europe on Thursday, the person said. They are to meet with Keith Stokes, head of the Rhode Island Economic Development Corp., an official with the New York Yacht Club and others, and tour Fort Adams State Park and other possible venues. -- www.signonsandiego.com/news/
Chuck Lantz in The Examiner:
This note, sent by an informed source early today, may signal the beginning of a new era of America's Cup involvement for Newport, R.I, where the premier yachting match-racing event was held between 1930 and 1983.
It may also bring an end to San Francisco's hopes of hosting the event, less than a week after city officials there voted unanimously to approve a hosting proposal...
... Another possibility, though an extreme long shot, is hinted at in the America's Cup Protocol, which is the official document that outlines the rules and procedures for the next Defense. In it, any mention of the location of the final match races for the right to challenge for the Cup, and between the Defender and Challenger, is written in the plural as "venue(s)" rather than simply "venue".
The exact Protocol language follows: "Article 24 THE REGATTA (AC Challenger Series, AC Defender Series and Match) Article 24.1 By 31 December 2010, GGYC will announce the venue(s) and dates of the Regatta. The Regatta may be held at more than one Venue."
A two venue, bi-coastal America's Cup? At this point, with all the changes to the original America's Cup event, nothing should come as a surprise.
And the New Zealand Herald:
San Francisco officials are "holding on by their fingernails at the moment," Barclay said Saturday. "It was theirs to lose and they were told that." While San Francisco officials have met Barclay's deadline of Friday for delivering a host city agreement, GGYC has until Dec. 31 to accept it or the offer will lapse.
San Francisco officials estimated that hosting the America's Cup could be worth $1.4 billion in economic benefits and create 8,000 jobs.
* From Paul King: I agree with David Brunskill's views about sailing with smaller crews. This is a trend which is not confined to canting keel boats and offshore races. The IRC rule is being amended from January in respect of crew numbers. Hitherto there has been no crew limit in IRC races unless the notice of race prescribes one. From 2011 the maximum permitted crew in IRC races will be the number printed on the certificate, unless the notice of race prescribes otherwise. This will apply to inshore races as well as offshore, to 30 footers as well as 80 footers, to local club Wednesday evening races as well as the Sydney-Hobart.
I hope that clubs which have previously prescribed larger numbers of crew will review their policy and decide to conform to the default option. This will reduce the number of people who are getting cold, wet and bored offshore, and make it easier for owners to recruit sufficient crew to be competitive.
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