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Lawrie Smith Takes 2011 Dragon World Championship
By 11.30am Race Management indicated they were on station, having set a course of 160 degrees for the last heat. At 11.50 the race was away, but naturally you could have guessed after this week's close and competitive racing that it was going to be a general recall. It was. A great proportion of the fleet was over, with the ones in the middle pushing out around 50 metres. This was exceptionally favourable for Linnea of Australia, who was still coming down to the line under spinnaker.
At 12.05 we were away, with the now mandatory Black Flag keeping everybody tidy. The left got the best of it, but by halfway, the massive separation we have become used to meant there were vessels near Brighton beach and out near the main shipping channel. Left of centre was the place to be as they got to the top.
At the top for the final time, the race winner was Denmark's My Way, who commented immediately after that it was, 'Even better than our win the other day. It was very sweet, indeed.' Skippered by Frank Berg, My Way also took out the coveted Corinthian trophy for the first all-amateur crew on the scoreboard. Frank said, 'It's our best result in the Worlds, ever.' They had a Bronze previously. 'Our boat is from 1989 and the oldest fibreglass vessel in the fleet. I thought we had good speed in the last three races. We didn't do the Prince Philip Cup last week, but we would like to do the lead-in event in the future to get some improvements.'
Taking out the overall win, by the narrowest of margins at around just a few metres, was the British crew aboard Alfie.
Olympic Medallist, Lawrie Smith, who has not been sailing since his last Volvo Ocean Race campaign in 1999, was pretty happy to get a win in his comeback regatta. Speaking up at the clubhouse after the great win, Lawrie said, 'Four young kids took care of sailing for a while. The twins are now 13 years old, so it makes doing something like this possible. It really is such a joyous way to come back. I honestly did not think we'd get the win. Then again, I also thought it was going to blow 25 knots each day!' -- John Curnow
Sunny Skies and Solid Breezes
"We really lucked out today because that line of thunderstorms was about 15 miles west of the racing area," said Brad Read, tactician aboard Titan. "If those storms had hit, the conditions would have been terrible. Instead, we had an absolutely great day of racing."
Read and the rest of the crew aboard Titan had good reason to be happy after seizing the early lead in the Mini Maxi class. Past America's Cup champion Bill Koch has chartered the Reichel-Pugh 72-footer and steered her to first and second place finishes on Monday.
Berthed on the other end of the docks in front of the Westin Hotel was Goombay Smash, which jumped out on top in the 21-boat Melges 32 class. Skipper William Douglass, a newcomer to the class, got the gun in Race 2 to take a tiebreaker with skipper Alex Jackson's Leenabarca.
Blu Moon, owned by Franco Rossini of Switzerland, is the early leader in Melges 24 class. Helmsman Flavio Favini steered Blu Moon to finishes of first and second.
Team Aqua has the oldest boat in the professional-laden RP44 class, but you would never have known based off Monday's result. Helmsman Don Wilson and tactician Cameron Appleton did a terrific job of playing the shifts throughout the day and posted a pair of bullets.
Mascalzone Latino, the Italian syndicate that is Challenger of Record for the next America's Cup and skippered by Vincenzo Onorato, also had a strong day and narrowly missed winning the second race after finishing overlapped with Team Aqua.
Masquerade, which did not compete at Key West the past two years, has returned to reassert its dominance in J/105 class. Skipper Thomas Coates and his San Francisco crew, which captured class honors here from 2006 through 2008, opened this year's regatta with a first and second. -- Bill Wagner
Current entries, event details and results: www.Premiere-Racing.com
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C45 Wing-Sailed Catamaran Under Sail In Auckland
The AC45 will be the centerpiece of the 2011-2012 America's Cup World Series, which will start mid-2011. The high-tech carbon fibre catamaran is the first in a fleet of the new 45-foot one-designs that will be tested by America's Cup teams before racing on the America's Cup World Series circuit.
The AC45 is an essential element of the vision for the 34th America's Cup, which will feature 72-foot catamarans raced on San Francisco Bay in 2013. Focused on creating more on-the-water excitement for both the teams and the fans, the AC45 is designed for both speed and close racing. While capable of closing speeds of up to 30 knots, the AC45 was designed to remain nimble enough to handle the tight race courses planned by America's Cup Race Management (ACRM).
The hulls are built in carbon epoxy with honeycomb cores, making them extremely stiff and light structures. The sandwich construction involves two carbon skins less than 1mm thick laminated over an ultra-light honeycomb core.
"We plan to run tight race courses that will force boats to engage with each other, creating really close racing situations. Multihulls are very fast boats and will therefore reach the course boundaries sooner, so races will become a true test of skill and strategy, not just speed," said Iain Murray, CEO, America's Cup Race Management and Regatta Director. "The AC45 will fast-track teams to state-of-the-art wingsail technology and crew technique in the first season, and will greatly prepare them for the AC72."
LOA: 44.13' (13.45m)
Return of the Phantom Menace?
Current predictions have the fleet leaders reaching Gough Island and just after it the first of the course's seven safety gates, next Monday evening.
The heaviest burden of questions is imposed on the current race leader, Estrella Damm. Their relatively direct routing towards the waypoint, essentially down the direct SE'ly diagonal, has them fighting though the most disturbances as they open the course through the systems of the Saint Helena high pressure zone.
In fact today their track is affected not by a simple single anticyclone to climb round or through, but no fewer than two high pressure systems and two low pressure systems, all exerting various influences on them.
Being second down this track could yet be beneficial to Groupe Bel's French duo Kito De Pavant and Seb Audigane. Their deficit to Estrella Damm remains around 135-138 miles, but that half a day's sailing not only allows them the advantage of the weather systems to develop a little more, but they can carefully monitor the Spanish crew's progress.
The same cannot be said of the second Spanish crew who were in the top three before they went undercover on Sunday morning. Speculation was rife among the skippers spoken to today about where the 'Sanxenxo phantoms' on MAPFRE, Iker Martinez and Xabi Fernandez, will re-appear on this evening's 1900hrs UTC rankings, 34 hours after they pressed the 'disappear' button on Sunday morning.
The duo's 'Ghost' mode expires this evening. Alex Pella considers that the Spanish Olympic medallists were looking at a radical move to the west as the most likely option.
But the single biggest question is a long term one: 'how will the western option which is being taken by Foncia, Michel Desjoyeaux and Francois Gabart, and Virbac-Paprec 3, Jean Pierre Dick and Loick Peyron play out?'
Seahorse February 2011
Design - Turnkey
Seahorse build table
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470 Class North American Championships
Congratulations to McNay/Biehl (2nd Men) and Maxwell/Kinsolving-Farrar (3rd Women), the top NA competitors and new 470 Class North American Champions. Thank you to Coconut Grove Sailing Club for hosting the well run event. -- Andrew Sumpton
Full results can be found at i470na2011.sailspace.net
Entries Open Friday for 80th Anniversary Race
Coinciding with entries opening for this iconic yacht race, the fourth largest participation sporting event in the UK that regularly attracts 1700+ boats and 16,000 sailors, the ISC will also publish the downloadable Notice of Race on its re-designed Anniversary Race website at www.roundtheisland.org.uk
To celebrate this historic year, Title Sponsor J.P. Morgan Asset Management is creating an Exhibition entitled "Round the Island in 80 Years". This will comprise at least 30 images capturing some special moments from across the past eight decades of the Race. The Exhibition will be displayed in three separate locations, commencing on 1st March with a major media, sponsors and Club members' launch event in London, before moving to a public display on the Isle of Wight at the Quay Arts Gallery (14-19 June 2010) and finally it will relocate to the Race Village in Cowes Yacht Haven (24-26 June) during the Race weekend for all the competitors and Race fans to enjoy. All Exhibition images will be available for purchase, with profits being donated to the Official Race Charity.
The photography archivist Karren May is managing the research and production of the Exhibition. This has involved digging deep into the archives of many celebrated photographers including Beken of Cowes, Kirk of Cowes and Eileen Ramsay, looking back through 80 years of images, including glass plates, to source the very best images to portray the story of this spectacular event. As well as featuring the images and stories of sporting, political and sailing legends that have competed in the Race, the Exhibition organisers will keep to the Race ethos 'A Race for all', by showcasing the memories and pictures of the everyday sailors who have taken part, or been involved in, the Race. -- Peta Stuart-Hunt
18ft Skiffs Australian Championship Race 2
In last Sunday's first race of the championship, Gotta Love It 7 collided with the starter's boat but today there was no problem as the champion team led all the way to record a brilliant 5m27s win in the light Easterly breeze.
Thurlow Fisher Lawyers, skippered by John Harris (replacing the injured regular skipper Michael Coxon) and crewed by Aaron Links and Trent Barnabas, finished second and holds the points lead (6 points) after the first two races of the championship.
Third place today and now second overall (8 points) was Red Claw with Matthew Searle, Archie Massey and Mike McKenzie, which finished a further 15s behind Thurlow Fisher Lawyers.
Kenwood-Rabbitohs (Evan Walker) is third on 10, Western Australia's SLAM (Grant Rollerson) is fourth on 12 points, ahead of Yandoo (John Winning) also on 12 points and first race winner Smeg (Nick Press) on 14. De'Longhi-Rabbitohs (Simon Nearn) is in seventh place, also on 14 points.
Next Sunday's third race of the championship should start to sort out the major contenders in what promises to be a tight regatta. -- Frank Quealey
John Bertrand Wins Australian Etchells Title
Bertrand who won the America's Cup for Australia in 1983 has been sailing Etchells since 1990 after joining the One Design class, which had been his America's Cup arch-rival Denis Connor's favourite class for a long time.
'I'm in the fortunate position of being able to ask some pretty good sailors if they'd like to sail with me. Andrew Palfrey has joined me and we've had Ben Ainslie, (Triple Olympic Gold Medallist) and then for the last year Tom Slingsby (2010 ISAF Sailor of the Year and triple Laser World Champion) sailing with us. We won the last Australian Championships, then the World titles in Ireland.
'To sail again with Grant Simmer (Australia II Navigator 1983) was terrific because he's been in sailing management roles for quite a while.
'Last time we sailed together after 1983 was in the America's Cup Jubilee in Cowes (England) in 2001 and to catch up with him was quite a blast. In between racing we talked a lot about the America's Cup, he has done I think nine America's Cups.'
After Race 7 the Overall Progressive score was John Bertrand (Triad) 34 points, leading Mark Bulka (Perfect Balance) 36 points, Mark Thornburrow (Racer X 923) 37, Graeme Taylor (Magpie) 44, Noel Drennan (Jack's Hut) and Gary Boyd (B Squared) 51, Damien King (Barry) 54.
Bertrand also led the Masters and the Grand Masters Divisions of the Australian Championship.
The Rex Gorell Prestige Etchells Australian Championship Sailing Instructions state that the last race of the final day must commence by 2.00pm. The Race Committee set a course for Race 8 of the series and waited for the breeze to build. Instead it dropped as the fleet waited patiently in the brilliant sunshine out on Corio Bay.
At 13.55 with no breeze and the deadline fast approaching, the Committee had no option but to raise the N over A, sound three toots and abandon racing.
Full Results at www.etchells.org.au/nationals/
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