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Foncia Dismasted, Retires
Foncia lost the top section of their mast early this morning, in conditions which were consistent with the 25-30 knots of wind and 2-5 metres swell, but which were otherwise unremarkable for the waters in which the second placed IMOCA Open 60, launched in late September last year, was engaged in a prolonged and close duel with Virbac-Paprec 3. Suspended by halyards and rigging, the topmast was left swinging in the breeze, and within a short period the duo announced that their Barcelona World Race is over.

Desjoyeaux has not only mastered adversity many times but usually gone on to win. In the 2000 Vendee Globe when his engine would not start and he could no longer generate power, he set up an ingenious system linking the mainsheet by pulleys to the flywheel to crank the engine started. He went on to win. And his comeback in the 2008-9 solo race around the world is already solo racing folklore. But this time, with some 600 miles to Cape Town, there were no possible options to complete a race he had vowed to win.

Getting beaten by mechanical failure on an IMOCA Open 60 round the world race, ironically, is an experience as new and painful to the maestro Desjoyeaux as it was to the raw but highly talented recruit Francois Gabart. Both fought bravely to conceal their enormous disappointment when they spoke this morning by visio-conference with Race HQ in Barcelona.

Their retirement inexorably breaks the bond with Virbac-Paprec 3 which even saw the duo stop simultaneously in Brazil to make different repairs. Jean-Pierre Dick and Loïck Peyron are left to lead from the front on their own, meantime.

But while the French Virbac Paprec 3 pair battle on, the chasing pack look like they may still have a say in this stage of the race. Though this afternoon Virbac-Paprec 3 were still spearing east towards the longitude of the Cape of Good Hope, some 260 miles in front of them, making between 18 and 19 knots, they will be well aware of a big high pressure system which will effectively bar progress by the weekend. And for the likes of Groupe Bel, Estrella Damm and the double Olympic medallists on MAPFRE, they look likely to make a wholesale dividend when the next low pressure system brings them 25-30 knots of breeze.

Race Direction announced today that they have added two further ice-gates to keep the fleet north of the ice which prevails south of 44 deg S. The Crozet gate will be at 42°S between the 52°E and the 57°E and then the Amsterdam gate at 42°S between the 78°E and the 83°E, so keeping the fleet to the north of the Kerguelen Islands.

Standings at 1400hrs on Wednesday 26 January
1. Virbac-Paprec 3, 18 292 Miles From Finish
2. Mapfre, 617 Miles From Leader
3. Estrella Damm Sailing Team, 746
4. Groupe Bel, 778
5. Renault Z.E, 867
6. Mirabaud, 1050
7. Neutrogena, 1135
8. Gaes Centros Auditivos, 1183
9. Central Lechera Asturiana, 1461
10. Hugo Boss, 1522
11. We Are Water, 1613
12. Forum Maritim Catala, 1663
RTD Foncia
RTD President

www.barcelonaworldrace.org

Tricky Day At The Races
Photo by Ingrid Abery, www.ingridabery.com. Click on image for photo gallery.

Miami OCR Miami, Florida: Things started out slowly this morning at US SAILING's Rolex Miami OCR when all but one class was postponed ashore due to light wind that followed morning showers, but the entire fleet of 716 Olympic and Paralympic hopefuls from 53 nations were back in action on Biscayne Bay by afternoon, with sunshine and fresh breezes to improve their day. This is the second stop on the International Sailing Federation (ISAF) Sailing World Cup circuit and is considered a major stepping stone on a sailor's path to securing a berth at the Olympic and Paralympic Sailing Regattas scheduled for Weymouth, England in 2012.

After two days of maintaining a lead in the 41-boat Men's 470 class, Nic Asher/Elliot Willis (GBR) were edged out today (day three) by fellow national teammates Luke Patience/Stuart Bithell for the top spot on the scoreboard. Patience/Bithell won today's single race while Asher/Willis took a sixth, using it as a discard race. (After six races, teams are allowed to drop their worst score.) They are now three points behind the new leaders.

Leaders from day one in the 24-boat Women's 470 class, Ingrid Petijean/ Nadege Douroux (FRA), had a "disappointing" race - a 12th - but still hang on for a one-point lead over Penny Clark (GBR), who won today's race to move to second.

The 470s are in for a long day tomorrow, as it is anticipated they will sail three races to catch up with their two-races-a-day schedule before the final medal races (for top-ten in each of the ten Olympic classes) conclude the regatta on Sunday.

With two races today in the 56-boat Star class, Robert Scheidt/Bruno Prada (BRA) still shine. They finished 9-7 while Fredrik Loof/Max Salminen (SWE) posted a 15-5. Only two points separate them from the leaders and the third-place finishers Xavier Rohart and Pierre Alexis Ponsot (FRA).

Yet another GBR team leads the 49ers, and they have done so since yesterday in the 29-boat fleet. John Pink/ Rick Peacock finished 4-6-1 today and used the sixth as a permitted discard in their final score, which is 18 points to the 19 carried by Dave Evans/Edward Powys, also from the UK.

For full results, go to rmocr.ussailing.org/2011/Results.htm

Sail Faster And Smarter!
Speed and Smarts Speed & Smarts is a bi-monthly newsletter packed with tips to improve your racing performance. It's written by winning AC tactician David Dellenbaugh, and each issue has 16 pages full of instructional advice on tactics, strategy, speed, boathandling and rules (plus there's no advertising!).

Whether you race a one-design or big boat, at the top or bottom of your fleet, you'll find lots of valuable ideas in Speed & Smarts. In fact, when you consider the cost of other go-fast items you can buy, this newsletter gives you extremely good "bang for your buck."

View a sample issue at www.speedandsmarts.com/BackIssues/SampleIssue

Subscribe at www.speedandsmarts.com

Heineken Cape Town To Rio
While City of Cape Town appears to have a stranglehold on the Heineken Cape to Rio yacht race, the fight for second and third places on handicap has seen several boats drift in and out of contention.

The most noticeable absentee from the top three is Dale Kushner's Xtra-Link, which only last Friday was lying second and has now dropped to sixth.

Kushner was forced to do a number of gybes following some "severe shifts" in the wind yesterday, but later reported the yacht to be sailing in 14-17 knot winds and completing a 24-hour run of 127 nautical miles.

Ciao Bella, skippered by Mike Robinson, was still holding on to second place following a daily run of 172nm, ahead of Jon and Andrew Sanders' Perie Banou II (139nm).

The big move came from the 42ft Izivunguvungu, skippered by Kader Williams and his development crew from the navy base in Simon's Town. The boat had a run of 219nm and has moved into fourth place on handicap ahead of Cape Storm, skippered by Sean Cummings.

Despite a couple of blown spinnakers, Prodigy still leads the race for line honours and had a run of 223nm, leaving her just 1,200nm from Rio. Gerry Hegie's City of Cape Town is 1,302nm from the finish and Grand Filou II, skippered by Jurgen Eming and Richard Fearon, 1,447nm.

Skipper Chris Frost believes Prodigy, which already has had a couple of shredded spinnakers, is still on course to reach Rio in about 14 days.

www.capetorio.heineken.com

New Dates for the Trofeo S.A.R. Princesa Sofia MAPFRE
Majorca Spain: The 42 Trofeo S.A.R. Princesa Sofia MAPFRE will be held in the bay of Palma from 2 to 9 April. For the first time in its 41 years of history the Majorcan regatta will not be held at Easter. This change is due to the need to adapt to the ISAF Sailing World Cup calendar, which reaches its third edition.

With two months and a half to go to the start of the ISAF Sailing World Cup's Spanish event, over one hundred entries have already been received, with third times Oympic Champion Ben Ainslie, favourite in the Finn class, among them.

The Majorcan event is the starting point of the European sailing season, a decisive season for Olympic sailors as the qualifying events for the 2012 London Olympics will be held this year. Therefore, the organisers of the 42 Trofeo S.A.R. Princesa Sofia MAPFRE expect a record number of participants in this year's edition.

Racing will be held from Monday to Saturday and not from Sunday to Friday like in the past editions.

Another novelty of the event, sponsored for the sixth consecutive year by MAPFRE, is the distribution of classes in the different sailing clubs of the bay of Palma. The RS:X will be based again at Club Marítimo San Antonio de la Playa together with the Laser Standard and Laser Radial. Club Nautic S'Arenal will be the venue for the Finn, 49er and 470, while the Star and Elliot 6m - Women's Match Racing- together with the Dragon as invited class will be based at Real Club Nautico de Palma. Escuela Nacional de Vela Calanova will be the venue for the three Paralympic events.

www.trofeoprincesasofia-mapfre.org

London 2012 Announces Ticket Sale Dates
The London Organising Committee of the Olympic Games and Paralympic Games (LOCOG) today confirms that tickets for the London 2012 Olympic Games will go on sale on Tuesday 15 March 2011 and Paralympic Games tickets will go on sale on Friday 9 September 2011.

The process for Olympic Games tickets will open for six weeks, enabling people to consider their options before making their final choices and submitting their application. Applications will close on 26 April 2011 and all oversubscribed sessions will be allocated via a ballot process.

Applications can be made at any point during the 6 week application period - it is not a first come, first served process.

LOCOG Chair Sebastian Coe commented; 'The Olympic Games is the greatest show on earth and the application process to be part of this once-in-a-lifetime opportunity opens on 15 March. This is a chance for the UK public to see the world's greatest athletes going for gold in their home country, to see their favourite Olympic sports close up and perhaps discover a new one. Our message today is simple - mark the date in your diary and sign up to our ticketing site at www.tickets.london2012.com to receive all the information you need to help you with the process.'

LOCOG will announce full details of the purchasing process and the finalised schedule for all 650 sport sessions in February 2011. The two million people who have already signed up to the London 2012 ticketing database - http://www.tickets.london2012.com will receive all the information about how to apply and those who have registered will be able to use their existing log-in details to access the application process.

Further details of the application process for Paralympic tickets will be announced later this year, with prices announced in May 2011.

On 15 March, the process will open for all Olympic Games tickets - including UK Games Break packages via official London 2012 supporter Thomas Cook, hospitality packages via Prestige Ticketing, international travel and accommodation packages via Jet Set Sports and globally via each National Olympic Committee or its Authorised Ticket Reseller.

Tickets for the London 2012 Festival events will go on sale in autumn 2011, with further details announced in the coming months.

Winners Announced As Audi Victoria Week Comes To A Close
Racing has come to a close at the 2011 Audi Victoria Week and once again, over 400 boats and their crews, including the Audi Performance, Sydney 38 One-Design Nationals Series, S80's, Super 30's, SB3, Sports Boats, Trailer yachts and the Cruising classes had a ball at Royal Geelong Yacht Club's (RGYC) huge annual event.

Audi Performance Series
Division 1 under EHC was won convincingly by John Lindholm's Dark Energy. Lindholm, from Victoria, scored a solid victory with his Thompson 980 against fellow Sandringham YC competitor, Tony Manning and his Ultimate Tune crew who sailed an 11 Metre One-Design.

Morris Finance Sydney 38 Championship
A few classes were only decided in the final race on the final day, and the Morris Finance Sydney 38 One-Design National Championship was one of them, NSW yachtsman Bruce Foye (The Goat) skated home for a win and a second in the final two races to wind up the series.

William Angliss Institute SB3
In the William Angliss SB3 keelboat, Nathan Outteridge (NSW) was the clean champion, with a perfect score of eight from eight races. There is no stopping this Aussie; not even reigning national champion Jono Shelley, who finished second, could steal his thunder.

Outteridge owns two 49er world titles and added the Moth World title to his resume earlier this month. The Beijing Olympian's talent knows no bounds. His perfect score at Audi Victoria Week holds him in good stead for the SB3 World Championship to be held in Britain in July.

Bundaberg Rum Sportsboats
Audi Victoria Week host, Royal Geelong Yacht Club, was well represented at the annual event and there were a few sailors doing the club proud including the Bundaberg Sportsboat winner, Cam Rae.

The series was settled on the last day and it was settled in the protest room after a mark incident found Rae and his Laminar Capital crew in 11th place.

Parks Victoria Classic Yachts Series
The most admired yachts in the fleet, because of their age and beautiful timber beauty, the Classic Yachts finished their four-race series and the top three were standouts in the performance stakes.

Maatsuyker, William Newman's Henry Morgan 31 design, was the evident victor with a five point win over Banshee, the SS30 owned and skippered by Graeme McNie. James Woods' Windward II was third in this all-Victorian event that had spectators' mesmorised as they were taken back in time to a more elegant and relaxed era. -- Di Pearson

Full report and results from all classes at www.victoriaweek.com

Brindabella To Chase Another Record
Save Our Seas solo circumnavigator Ian Thomson will have the opportunity to share the experience of sailing around Australia alone when he co-skippers the famed Brindabella on a record challenge later this year.

Thomson a proud member of the Whitsunday Sailing Club endured the physical torment and associated stress when he set the solo record of just over 42 days last year.

Both he and Brindabella's owner Jim Cooney will head the challenge to chase down the present Around Australia record of 37 days, 1 hour, 23 minutes and 57 seconds.

Remarkably the present record rests with Sydney skipper David Pescud and a crew of six all are members of the Sailor's With Disabilities Ocean racing team.

They expressed their exceptional determination sailing through extremely cold and brutal wind and sea conditions to successfully complete the 6,500 nautical mile voyage.

The Brindabella challenge will face similar conditions which is planned to commence with the first favourable weather window in May.

Meanwhile the famous pocket-maxi which has broken and still holds more major ocean race records than any other yacht will have a full scale evaluation trial in the 2011 Brisbane to Gladstone race starting on Good Friday April 22.

Despite having the Sydney to Mooloolaba and Sydney to Southport race records and the fastest Rolex Sydney Hobart Race time by a conventionally ballasted keel yacht this will be Brindabella's maiden Brisbane to Gladstone race.

However while Brindabella has proved her speed in spinnaker sailing in strong wind and wave surfing conditions she is unlikely to challenge the super fast 20 hour 24 minute 50 second record established by the Grant Wharington skippered Skandia Wild Thing in 2004.

But the 308 n/ml race will provide an interesting shake down trial as her crew prepare to take on the far more demanding 6,500 nautical mile challenge to circumnavigate the coastal seaboard of mainland Australia and Tasmania in less than 37 days. -- Ian Grant

UK-Halsey Rules Quiz
The UK-Halsey Rules Quiz animations have been called the best way to learn the rules, and the videos of the rules being explained make the learning process that much easier. We have already posted seven videos which cover: the importance of the definitions, the definition of when you are racing and when the rules and penalties apply, definition of being on a tack, definition of proper course, the definition of finishing and much more. The videos are only available as part of the Rules Quiz program and we will continue to post videos throughout the year.

The answers to all the quizzes were re-written for the rules changes by Rob Overton, who has been a member of the US Sailing Racing Rules Committee since 1993. Rob was one of five international rule writers who drafted the new Section C rules that took effect on January 1, 2009.

See the Rules Quiz page at www.ukhalsey.com/RulesQuiz/quiz_list.asp

You can buy the Quiz program for $55 or $100 for the program plus two of the best books written on the 2009-2012 Racing Rules - Understanding the Rules by Dave Perry and The Rules in Practice by Bryan Willis. Both are reviewed in our Rules Blog.

www.ukhalsey.com/store/SearchResult.aspx?CategoryID=4

Revised Standard NOR and Sailing Instructions For Match Racing
Revised versions of the Standard Notice of Race and Standard Sailing Instructions for match racing events have been published on the ISAF website.

The quick and simple Word templates for the rules of your match racing event, based on the ISAF Racing Rules of Sailing are available to download from the match racing documentation section at: www.sailing.org/sailors/860.php

From time to time, these documents are revised to ensure that they reflect the best current practices. There are important changes in the 2011 versions.

1. The guideline document:'Match Racing Penalties for Damage Resulting from Contact between Boats' has been added as new SI Appendix E, and relevant references are now included in SI 1.5 and NoR 7.2. By using these guidelines, competitors will find consistency between events in how questions about damage are being handled. The number of hearings at events is likely to be reduced as a consequence.

Note that these guidelines do not address any questions about costs for damage and/or damage deposits - this is a matter between the OA and the skipper, and responsibilities for damage or loss to boats will be decided as described in SI 2.

2. In SI 18(c) and (e), Code of Conduct, references to undesirable behaviour, such as excessive attempts to verbally coerce, coach or influence umpire decisions, repetitive objection to an umpire decision or abuse of umpires before or after a decision, are included. This SI makes it clear that the umpires may penalize directly on the water or report to the jury/protest committee when this behaviour happens.

3. In SI Appendix B - Event Format and Schedule of Races; a separate stage has been indicated for any repechage sailed. This is important with regard to scoring and to avoid problems with tie breaking.

4. The last important change is that new NoR 6.3 contains the statement from the ISAF Regulations 24.2.2(d) about withdrawing from an event. By adding this statement into the Standard NoR, all competitors will be reminded that all graded events have the option of reporting to the ISAF when a competitor accepts an invitation but then withdraws within two months of the event or when a competitor leaves an event before the event is completed, without the written approval of the OA. In such cases, the competitors may receive a 'zero score' for that event. Competitors not showing up at events has turned into a big problem as events struggle to meet the grading criteria announced. This could be a problem (or at least a disappointment) for the competitors coming to the event that expect the event to have a certain grading and who have expectations about the format and level of competition.

5. NoR and SI 15, new instructions when restrictions for coach boats are appropriate have been included.

Standard Notice of Race for Match Racing: www.sailing.org/23243.php

ISAF Standard Sailing Instructions for Match Racing: www.sailing.org/23244.php

Hiromasa Akita
Hiromasa Akita With great sadness ISAF reports that Japan Sailing Federation (JSAF) Honorary President Hiromasa Akita has passed away in Tokyo, Japan aged 91.

Hiromasa first started to enjoy his sailing life from his university's club activities. He was the first President of JSAF after the combination of the former Japan Yachting Association (JYA) and former Nippon Ocean Racing Club (NORC) in 1999.

Before the creation of JSAF, Hiromasa had served the YJA as a member of the executive board for 49 years, Vice-President for 13 years and President (including Acting-President) for 15 years and was being Vice-President of NORC for 38 years.

He contributed to the success of many sailing events in Japan and Internationally. He was Jury Assistant for the Tokyo Olympic Games Sailing Competition in 1964, and President of the Asian Yachting Federation during the Hiroshima Asian Games in 1994. He also worked at the ISAF Youth Worlds when the championship was hosted by Japan in 1997 and as promoter and organizer of the Trans-Pacific Singlehanded Race and the Melbourne Osaka Race.

Hiromasa passed away on Tuesday 18 January 2011. ISAF extends our sincere sympathy and condolences to his family and friends.

Featured Brokerage
Featured Brokerage Boat 1978 Copeland Boats Flying 15, EUR 1,000. Located in Mallorca, Spain.

Brokerage through AByachtcharters Mallorca: www.yachtworld.com/abyachtcharters/

Complete listing details and seller contact information at uk.yachtworld.com

The Last Word
Every person who has mastered a profession is a skeptic concerning it. -- George Bernard Shaw

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