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Light Air Tests Leaders on Day Three of Key West 2011
Photo by Ingrid Abery, www.ingridabery.com. Click on image for photo gallery.

Key West Race Week Every race counts at a highly-competitive, week-long regatta such as Key West 2011, presented by Nautica. Light winds allowed for only one race on Wednesday, but it proved crucial as there were changes atop the standings in some classes while others found the top boats consolidate their leads.

Fitting the former category is Barking Mad, which increased its advantage in the Farr 30 class by winning Wednesday's race. Marty Kullman, tactician for skipper Jim Richardson, pointed out that crucial points are on the table every time the boats are on the course.

"This was a day in which you left the dock knowing that there was a high likelihood that you could have that one bad race that could cost you the regatta," Kullman said. "You couldn't win the regatta today, but you could certainly lose it with a high points race that really hurts."

Tonnerre de Breskens 3, The Netherlands entry skippered by Peter Vroon, took a commanding lead in IRC 2 class by winning Wednesday's race. The Ker 46 now has bullets in four of five starts and leads second place White Gold (James Bishop, Palm Beach, Fla.) by 10 points.

Steve Howe and the Warpath team transformed a one-point lead in Melges 32 into a seven-point advantage by taking second in Wednesday's start. That's because the boat that was in second after Tuesday's action - Leenabarca (Alex Jackson, Riverside, Conn.) - finished ninth in Race 5.

Three other classes - Melges 24, J/105 and IRC 1, saw a change atop the leader board. Anema & Core, the Judel Vrolijk 52 owned by Ennio Staffini of Annapolis, has really found its groove and reeled off three straight first place finishes to seize the lead in IRC 1. Italian Tommaso Chieffi is calling tactics aboard Anema & Core while fellow professionals Richard Bouzaid (Doyle New Zealand) and James Daggs are trimming the main and jib, respectively.

Mascalzone Latino, the Italian team skippered by Vincenzo Onorato of Milano, remained the leader in the talent-laden RC44 class by placing second in Race 5. Team Aqua, which was tied for first after two days of racing, took third to fall one point off the pace. Lurking in third, just two points behind the leader, is Oracle Racing. Four-time America's Cup champion Russell Coutts is calling tactics for Oracle, which won Wednesday's lone race. -- Bill Wagner

www.Premiere-Racing.com

Huge Interest in the Rolex Fastnet Race
Photo by Carlo Borlenghi, carloborlenghi.com. Click on image to enlarge.

Fastnet Entry for one of the world's most popular yacht races opened at midnight on Sunday 9 January and by midday Monday, nearly 100 entries had signed up, with an unprecedented number doing so in the early hours of the morning. The trend continued over the next couple of days when the halfway mark of 150 boats was reached for the race which has a maximum entry of 300 boats. Within a week, 250 boats had entered. (Editor: as of this morning, the RORC's IT wizard Stefan Kuntsmann informs that they've hit the 300 limit and have boats on the waiting list).

"We expected an initial rush of interest because people were registering the details about their boat on our REMUS on-line entry system over Christmas," commented the RORC Racing Manager Ian Loffhagen. "However nothing had prepared us for this unprecedented amount of interest in the race. We are obviously delighted at how popular the race has become with entries from all over the world."

Officially the first boat to enter was Fred Mundle's X332 Mardy Gras, only 50 seconds after entry opened. Another notable early entry is Ondeck's Farr 65 which will be chartered by the British Limbless Ex Service Men's Association (BLESMA).

Of the high profile race boats entered, the two canting keel 100 footers, ICAP Leopard and Rambler 100 will be the ones battling to take line honours in the Race. Mike Slade's ICAP Leopard and George David's previous Rambler had a huge fight in the 2007 Rolex Fastnet Race, with Leopard taking the silverware. However, this year, George David has chartered the Juan K designed Speedboat, re-named Rambler 100, which will put Mike Slade under a lot of pressure.

Also entered is the 2009 Rolex Fastnet Race winner, Niklas Zennström's J.V. 72, Rán, hoping to make it two in a row, but he will have strong competition from RORC Caribbean 600 Race winner, Hong Kong's Karl Kwok in his Farr 80, Beau Geste; 2009 Rolex Middle Sea Race winner, Andre Soriano in his Mills 68 Alegre, as well as a group of very competitive 52' grand prix racers.

Leading this 50 footer pack is the 2010 Rolex Middle Sea Race winner, the TP52 Lucky, owned by Breyon Ehrhart from the USA and four boats from Germany who are making a serious attempt to win the race this year: Uwe Leben's RP57, Scho-Ka-Kola; the SKWB's J.V.53 Bank von Bremen and Haspa Hamburg and Norddeutsche Vermögen, both from Hamburgischer Verein Seefahrt.

There are 15 Class 40's entered so far and the next biggest classes are the Sigma 38 and First 40.7s, with 14 boats each and so far, 14 different countries will be represented in the 2011 Rolex Fastnet Race. -- Trish Jenkins

www.rorc.org

Dubarry Crosshaven

Dubarry Crosshaven - The Best Gets Better
Click on image to enlarge.

You'd have to go around the world to find a better boot than Dubarry's Ultima or Shamrock - so they did. Green Dragon's raced round the world in Dubarry boots and their Southern Ocean feedback helped to create the world's best offshore boot. Top of the Dragons' list was a waterproof built-in gaiter with top draw-cord to make sure your foredeck forays don't result in a bootful of briney. They're warmer too, lined with GORE-TEX® Duratherm waterproof insulation, heel and toe reinforcement and a new super-supportive footbed inspired by Formula 1 technology.

Dubarry Crosshaven - boots born in the Southern Ocean.

www.dubarry.com

Volvo Ocean Race Academy
Alicante, Spain: The Volvo Ocean Race is proud to announce its new youth sailing initiative, the Volvo Ocean Race Academy. This Academy marks the continuation of the Volvo Ocean Race's commitment to youth sailing worldwide.

The project contains three activities to involve the children of each of the host ports. Firstly, the race will take over 14,000 children worldwide out on the water to "Try Sailing". For the experienced young sailors of these countries, there will be the Academy Team Racing Series. Finally, there will be an educational programme to allow the host port schools to become involved in the race and sailing as a sport.

The Try Sailing experience will take children from the local schools and communities out sailing in each host port, in supplied 5.6m Ludics training dinghies. They will be shown some basic sailing skills and learn about the Volvo Ocean Race. The race is also working on individual sailing projects with the local sailing associations and clubs to help leave a legacy in each of the ports, which will facilitate even more young people trying out sailing.

The competitive pinnacle of the project will be the Academy Team Racing Series, which will be held in Optimists dinghies in each of the Host Ports. The two-day regatta will be run in the Race Village harbours, and the race organisation is working with the Optimist Class to organise these regattas.

The Volvo Ocean Race will have a total of 40 Optimists for the team racing series, branded to look like the Volvo Open 70s taking part in the upcoming race. Each Optimist team will be given the opportunity to meet the team under whose colours it is racing. The teams will consist of four children, one of whom must be from the opposite gender. The four-boat team racing will be held on the weekend before the In-Port Race and Leg Start in each of the stopovers and will have a special two-day schedule in the start port of Alicante, Spain and finish port of Galway, Ireland.

www.VolvoOceanRace.com

ISAF Women's Match Racing World Championships
The International Sailing Federation (ISAF) invites bids from parties interested in hosting future editions of the ISAF Women's Match Racing World Championships.

If you would like to bid to host the 2012 ISAF Women's Match Racing Worlds before the 2012 Olympic Sailing Competition, the Match Racing Committee would recommend that the organizers use the Elliott 6m.

If you would like to bid to host the 2012 ISAF Women's Match Racing Worlds after the 2012 Olympic Sailing Competition or the 2013 ISAF Women's Match Racing Worlds, the Match Racing Committee would be receptive to the use of any appropriate keelboat.

Bids must be received by the ISAF Secretariat and must include confirmation of support for the bid from the relevant Member National Authority. All bids received will be reviewed by the Match Racing Committee and their recommendations will be submitted to the ISAF Council for the final decision.

Bids to host the 2012 edition must be received by 1 April 2011.

Bids to host the 2013 edition must be received by 1 September 2011.

To receive the full bid process and for details of the information that must be included in the bid document please contact the ISAF Competitions Manager Antonio Gonzalez de la Madrid at the ISAF Secretariat:

ISAF Women's Match Racing World Championship microsite - www.sailing.org/womensmatchworlds.php

Argo Challenge for the America's Cup
When the news became official that the new America's Cup will be held in 2013 in San Francisco and that there will be 2.5 years of world series competition among the best sailors on the fastest boats, the Argo Challenge for the America's Cup changed its strategy and began its San Francisco Bay Area America's Cup immersion program. We have come a long way in the first two weeks of the new year and we want you to know that we are closer than ever to challenging the concept of "normal" in everyday life by having our international team of disabled athletes and sailors be included in the lead up events to the 34th America's Cup.

We are striving to obtain the necessary sponsorship to fund a competitive entry and meet the established registration deadline of March 31, 2011. As always, we are living by our credo "WeCanUCan"!

Our goal is to show the world that it is possible to reach great objectives even if one is disabled, and that in sport, as in life, barriers can be overcome if one is determined, passionate, professional and work in a great team.

The Argo Challenge welcomes partners of all kinds and is a non-profit organization formed in compliance with the tax codes of Italy.

Christian Giannini, a San Franciscan investment banker with offshore sailing campaign management experience and Star crew, has come aboard as our CFO. Giannini received his BS in Business Administration from the University of San Francisco, and his MBA from University of Chicago, GSB. Current business ventures focus on the Middle East and Asian financial markets. -- Lynn Fitzpatrick

sailracewin.blogspot.com

Normandy Channel Race 2011
The Normandy Channel Race 2011, whose start will take place on 22 May 2011 in Caen / Hermanville, has already signed up its first participants. Eight competitors have already formally registered, which bodes well for the ultimate line-up, considering that there were a total of ten competitors in the first edition.

The initial entries who have signed up for this human adventure boast a 50/50 split of international and French crews. Among the host of Class 40 projects are a mixture of well-honed, highly experienced crews with numerous oceanic races under their belts, and newcomers, keen to discover the race, who can rely on the support of the more seasoned sailors of the circuit. With the course being both varied and rich, the race is synonymous with the Class 40 trademark.

Among the latest inscriptions, three have already signed up for the next Global Ocean Race, which is a Class 40 round the world event with stopovers, which will set out from Majorca on 25 September 2011. Within the framework of the partnership between the two races, participation in the Normandy Channel Race encompasses the bulk of the qualification phase for the oceanic event.

Among the international crews are skippers from the UK, Germany and Holland, which confirms the standing of the Normandy Channel Race as the major annual meeting for the Class40 in the English Channel and the North Sea.

At 71 years of age, Dutch skipper Nico Budel (BUME.BV) will unquestionably be the most senior participant in the race. An experienced sailor, he took part in the Portimao Global Ocean Race in 2008 / 2009; a Class 40 round the world event, which he was forced to retire from in the middle of the Indian Ocean due to keel problems. However, this won't stop him taking the start of the next Global Ocean Race aboard his Akilaria design Class 40 (No.44), which took victory in the previous race.

Deadline for registration is 15 March 2011. -- translated by Kate Jennings

www.normandy-race.com

Royal Thames Retain the Carmela Cup
A blustery Saturday morning saw eight teams of eight sailors arrive at Queen Mary for the annually run RYA Open Two Boat Keelboat Team Racing Trophy for the Royal Thames Carmela Cup.

The eight teams taking part:-

BUSA helms Mark Powell and Rob Friend
Sea View YC helms Richard Hill and William Edwards
Royal Northern &Clyde YC helms Grigoir White and Alan Manuel
Royal Thames YC helms Ali Hall and Mark Lees
Royal Yacht Squadron helms Ed Peel and Bruce Grant
Southampton Male Voice Choir helms Guy Breary and Ian Dobson
Team Aalsmeer helms Marc de Haas and Jan Bakker
Wellington College helms Charlie Esse and Rob Gosling

With winds gusting up to 25 knots on Saturday morning racing looked unlikely but the decision was taken to reef the main and to commence with the 2011 Carmela Cup. The Race Officials led by PRO David Arnold successfully managed to get 15 races in despite the inclement weather, leaving 13 races to complete the round robin the following day.

Sunday presented similar conditions - the wind had abated a bit but had been replaced with a colder breeze and some rain - but by now four races were being accomplished an hour which enabled the round robin to reach its conclusion with RTYC undefeated in the round robin and Southampton Male Voice Choir beating BUSA into second.

Final Results
1. RTYC
2. Southampton Male Voice Choir
3. BUSA
4. Sea View Yacht Club
5. Royal Northern & Clyde Yacht Club
6. Royal Yacht Squadron
7. Wellington College
8. Team Aalsmeer

www.royalthames.com

Seahorse February 2011
What's in the Latest Edition Of Seahorse Magazine

Update
Terry Hutchinson prepares for 2011, Pierre-Yves Jorand reflects on Alinghi's decision to sit out AC34, Andy Rice has some plaudits for the 'new look' ISAF machinery, Frederico Pinheiro cautions against too much F1 worship and Bora goes low drag...

World news
The best old faces and fast younger rivals share the Rhum podiums, the changing science of two handed ocean racing, Rob Shaw's lightweight flyers carry all before them, early promise (and air injectors) for hydroptère.ch, why our man in Oz was ahead of the curve and changes at Key West. Patrice Carpentier, Rob ­Mundle, Ivor Wilkins, Pierre Meyer And Dobbs Davis

Rod Davis
One or two considerations... before abandoning the Flintstones completely

If you haven't subscribed to Seahorse already we're keen to help you attend to that! - Please use the following promotional link and enjoy the hefty Scuttlebutt Europe discount... and it gets even better for 2 and 3 year subscriptions...

www.seahorse.co.uk/shop/subs

Designer Pete Melvin Talks About Choosing The Multihull
When America's Cup 33 ended last February, Melvin celebrated the victory and thought his time with the Cup had come to an end. However, a seed had been planted...

"During the Cup, I honestly don't think anyone was thinking that far ahead," Melvin says. "It was all new to most of the Oracle guys. I mean, you can count the number of guys who had been involved with multihulls -- especially multihulls with wings -- on two hands. It's a very small community. They weren't sure how that was going to turn out, so no one was thinking about how the next Cup was going to look.

"Around a month after the America's Cup ended, everyone realized it was time to get serious about the next one. A lot of opinions were being formed over the course of the match and even within Oracle a lot of people thought it would go back to monohulls the next time, that this was just an aberration, that they'd built the fastest boat within the Deed and that was it. That was the general feeling -- and Larry Ellison had even stated that several times - that if they won, they'd go back to monohulls.

"But you could see, working with the design and sailing team, most of them said, 'Gosh, this is so exciting and so much fun, we really hope it stays in multihulls!'

Full article at
www.cupinfo.com

San Fernando Race
Royal Hong Kong Yacht Club has issued the Notice of Race and Entry Form for the 17th edition of the biennial San Fernando Race, which will depart from Hong Kong on 20 April bound for the destination of San Fernando in the northern Philippines, 480nm away.

Organised by the Royal Hong Kong Yacht Club under the auspices of the Royal Ocean Racing Club, this Category 1 Offshore Race starts in the spring grey of Hong Kong, with sailors quickly shedding layers as the fleet gets into the sunnier waters of the South China Sea.

The race starts from the Club Line of the Royal Hong Kong Yacht Club, in the middle of Hong Kong's famous Victoria Harbour, taking the fleet out past Waglan Island and then on to the Philippines. The current record of 49 hours 55 minutes and 12 seconds was set by Hong Kong sailor Sam Chan in 2001 and around 35 competitors will be trying to better this target come April.

The Charity element of the race receives high priority, with proceeds from several fund-raising events going to the Full Gospel Faith Temple Orphanage in San Fernando. The San Fernando Race Foundation Limited, which is a registered charity in Hong Kong, oversees the charitable activities and, since 1995, the money raised has been used to assist the Orphanage in improving its facilities, for both everyday living and the education of the children.

Documents can be downloaded from the Race website, www.sanfernandorace.com

Letters To The Editor -
Letters are limited to 350 words. No personal attacks are permitted. We do require your name but your email address will not be published without your permission.

* From Euan Ross: Wow, so many photo essays on the new AC45; I find myself compelled to open each new folder, despite the certain knowledge that more of the same awaits. But with all these glossy images in the public domain, it's a pity that Oracle, with all the technical expertise available, couldn't figure out why sail numbers should be stuck on at different heights, with those on the starboard side uppermost. Maybe the Holders are not omnipotent then? Maybe there is hope for the Challengers? .....looks a nice enough little boat though – albeit destined for the marginalia of Cup history; and, dare I say it, a wee bit agricultural in respect of the tube engineering.

* From George Morris: Not long ago I devoted a week to watching the Louis Vuitton Trophy on my computer. I enjoyed it immensely and learned a lot about match racing. I have subsequently read that BMW-Oracle 'diplomatically allowed Team New Zealand to win the final. Certainly the match went against the form and BMW seemed to throw away a good lead at one point. Now in cricket and in snooker you can get banned for a long time for a lot less than throwing a match. What was going on here and how clean is our sport at this level?

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The Last Word
The first principle is that you must not fool yourself and you are the easiest person to fool. -- Richard P. Feynman

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