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Rolex Miami OCR
Photo by Ingrid Abery, Click on image for photo gallery.

It was "do or die" today for sailors in the final medal races of US SAILING's Rolex Miami OCR. Reserved for top-ten fleet racing finishers in Finn, 49er, Men's 470, Women's 470, Laser, Laser Radial, Men's RS:X, Women's RS:X and Star classes, the medal races also included "knock-out" Finals and Petit Finals, with two boats each, from the Elliott 6m (women's match racing) class. The racing formats replicate those that will be used at the Olympic Sailing Regatta in the 2012 Games, and as so designed, they did not fail to deliver a final punch of excitement to six days of racing here for 716 sailors from 53 nations.

"In the final medal count, 14 different countries won 39 medals, with eight different countries sharing Gold," said US SAILING's Olympic Sailing Committee Chair Dean Brenner (Wallingford, Conn.) at the final Rolex Prizegiving, held at Coral Reef Yacht Club. He explained that while 10 Olympic classes determined podium positions today, three Paralympic classes completed racing yesterday to determine medalists.

US SAILING's Golden Torch Trophy, awarded to the U.S. sailor with the best overall performance at US SAILING's Rolex Miami OCR, this year went to Laser Radial Gold Medalist Paige Railey (Clearwater, Fla.). The torch, from the 1980 Moscow Olympics, was presented by the Russian Olympic Committee to Andrew Kostanecki – United States Olympic Sailing Committee from 1985 to 1988. Mr. Kostanecki gave the torch to US SAILING as an award for aspiring Olympians and Paralympians. Railey also received the award last year.

US SAILING's Rolex Miami OCR 2012 started Monday and has returned to Biscayne Bay annually since 1990. The event is the second of seven stops on the International Sailing Federation (ISAF) Sailing World Cup circuit. The USA had the largest contingent of sailors with 198, followed by Canada (97), Great Britain (39), then Italy (36).

Top three by class:

470 Women (9 Races
1. Ingrid Petijean/ Nadege Douroux, FRA, 36
2. Penny Clark/ Katrina Hughes, GBR, 37
3. Maria Fernanda Sesto/ Consuelo Monsegur, ARG, 41

470 Men, 10 Races
1. Nic Asher/Elliot Willis, GBR, 45
2. Matthew Belcher/Malcolm Page, AUS, 51
3. Luke Patience/Stuart Bithell, GBR, 51

Laser, 11 Races
1. Rasmus Myrgren, SWE, 38
2. Julio Alsogaray, ARG, 41
3. Paul Goodison, GBR, 43

Laser Radial, 11 Races
1. Paige Railey, USA, 33
2. Sarah Steyaert, FRA, 56
3. Evi Van Acker, BEL, 56

Finn, 10 Races
1. Giles Scott, GBR, 29
2. Ben Ainslie, GBR, 30
3. Andrew Mills, GBR, 33

Star, 11 Races
1. Robert Scheidt/Bruno Robert, BRA, 48
2. Fredrik Loof, SWE, 97
3. Richard Clarke, CAN, 99

RS: X Women 9 Races
1. Marina Alabau, ESP, 26
2. Bryony Shaw, GBR, 31
3. Laura Linares, ITA, 37

RS: X Men, 9 Races
1. Dorian van Rijsselberge, NED, 24
2. Nick Dempsey, GBR, 26
3. Julien Bontemps, FRA, 36

49er, 15 Races
1. John Pink/ Rick Peacock, GBR, 39
2. Paul Brotherton/Mark Asquith, GBR, 58
3. Dave Evans/Edward Powys, GBR, 74

Elliott 6m, Women's Match Racing
1. Claire Leroy/Elodie Bertrand/Marie Riou, FRA
2. Anna Tunnicliffe/Molly Vandemoer/Debbie Capozzi, USA
3. Sally Barkow/ Alana O'Reilly/Elizabeth Kratzig-Burnham, USA

Skud-18, 6 Races
1. Daniel Fitzgibbon/ Liesl Tesch, AUS, 12
2. Scott Whitman/ Julia Dorsett, USA, 18
3. Alexandra Rickham/Niki Birrell, GBR, 22

2.4mr, 6 Races
1. Damien Seguin, FRA, 18
2. Thierry Schmitter, NED, 22
3. Allan Leibel, CAN, 29

Sonar, 7 Races
1. John Roberston/ Hannah Stodel/ Steve Thomas, GBR, 30
2. Bruno Jourdren/Eric Flageul/Nicolas Vimont Vicary, FRA, 36
3. Udo Hessels/ Mischa Rossen/Marcel van de Veen, NED, 37

For full results, go to

Waves and Waste
Jean-Pierre Dickand Loick Peyron will be paying little attention to the scrap over second place which is progressing nicely some 600 miles behind them when the Barcelona World Race fleet reaches one month, or 30 days at sea, tomorrow. Rather the leading duo admitted today that they are looking only forwards, setting up as well as possible for the very active depression, their first big storm in the Indian Ocean which they will encounter Wednesday.

They will scarcely have concerned themselves with the fact that Virbac-Paprec 3 has conceded 150 miles since yesterday to second placed MAPFRE, and is now just less than 600 miles ahead of the Spanish duo. Sailing on the wind in around 25 knots of SE'ly breeze the duo are expecting a calm spell Monday before the cyclonic system hits them on Wednesday.

The active, muscular depression will be producing very strong northerly winds just at the time they would arrive at the Crozet ice gate, if Virbac Paprec 3 followed the theoretical tracking. Their options are to tough it out, which would not seem wise given their key priority is preservation of the boat and themselves, or to invest more to the north earlier, perhaps Tuesday night when they have good easterly breeze. They would be giving up miles down the course to the east, but they would effectively brake by sailing north to let the worst of the system pass in front of them.

Ryan Breymaier, joined by videoconference today from Neutrogena, expressed his ongoing shock and dismay at the unacceptable amount of plastic waste they are encountering daily, all the way round the race course:

" But what really sets me off is not so much the fact that the planet is getting warmer, but that everywhere we sail we pass plastic floating in the water. Where we are in the ocean just now, every day we still pass some kind of crap floating in the water and it is terrible. There is so much plastic trash in the water, there is so much plastic fishing rope, so many plastic bags, plastic containers, jerry jugs, water bottles it is just absolutely everywhere. It is really, really disgusting. I have sailed across the Atlantic five times and the last trip back from Costa Rica was pretty bad with the plastic, but now crossing the Equator and down into the Southern Hemisphere, all along the periphery of the South Atlantic high it has been nothing but trash in the water constantly. That to me is much worse."'

Rankings at Sunday 30th January at 1400hrs UTC :
1. Virbac-Paprec 3, 17192 nm to finish
2. Mapfre, 592 nm to leader
3. Estrella Damm Sailing Team, 664
4. Groupe Bel, 709
5. Renault Z.E, 805
6. Mirabaud, 1125
7. Neutrogena, 1189
8. Gaes Centros Auditivos, 1426
9. Central Lechera Asturiana, 1844
10. Hugo Boss, 19079
11. We Are Water, 19132
12. Forum Maritim Catala, 19231
Rtd Foncia
Rtd President

Foncia Safely Into Cape Town
Greeted by the Foncia Team's shore crew and Yves Gevin, Chairman of the Board within FONCIA Group, Michel Desjoyeaux and Francois Gabart arrived in the port of Cape Town early afternoon on this Saturday 29 January. After breaking the top section of the mast last Wednesday and their retirement from the Barcelona World Race, the crew's minds are already focused on the future.

For Michel Desjoyeaux, there are various projects this year, which involve multiple hulls under FONCIA's colours. Among these are his participation, from April onwards, on the Decision 35 at the Julius Baer Championship on the waters of Lake Geneva. Next up it will be time for the Multihull One Design (MOD 70) with a programme of oceanic competitions, which will continue through until 2014.

Michel Desjoyeaux: "Since FONCIA's partial dismasting, Francois has managed to scale the mast on two occasions to install an external halyard. That enabled us to make headway under two or three reefs and a jib up forward. In our misfortune we've been very lucky. First of all, as it's just the top section of the mast that came down, we didn't need to make up a jury rig. Following that, we suffered this damage quite close to the South African coast and were able to make for land whilst benefiting from what were some fairly mild weather conditions for this area, which is often very hostile. We managed to stow everything we could aboard and prevent collateral damage to the boat. During these three or four days, we also had time to sort out our emotions a little and together digest the disappointment caused by our being forced to retire from the competition. Right now we're going to unstep the mast and remove FONCIA's keel so she'll be able to fit aboard a cargo ship bound for Europe, where she will be repaired and prepared for her future owner."

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Off On The Grand Solo Circumnavigation
Thomas Coville, skipper of Sodebo, crossed the start line today, Saturday 29 January 2011, at 11h07'28 UTC. To beat Francis Joyon's record, he will have to be back in Brest by 28 March at 0h40'34" UTC.

A week after Pascal Bidegorry's crew set off on the Jules Verne Trophy, it's over to Thomas Coville to head off to attack the rather different 'solo' round the world record aboard Sodebo. The skipper left the pontoon in Brest's Port du Chateau shortly before 0800 UTC to cross the start line off Ushant, in front of Le Creac'h lighthouse, by late morning. His aim: to return to the same spot in under 57 days, 13 hours, 34 minutes and 6 seconds, the reference time set by Francis Joyon (Idec) in January 2008. The skipper has set off with "a good weather window for solo sailing and feels a sense of liberation at having taken the decision to set off. I've nurtured this moment for years. I'm heading off on this because I want to. The emotion stems from extracting yourself, making the switch from a landlubber to a sailor".

Conditions at the start promise to be lively with a 25 knot NE'ly wind followed by fairly steep seas in the Bay of Biscay. If the forecasts are confirmed, the skipper could hold onto the NNE'ly air flow for a considerable time and even as far as the equator.

Since circumnavigating the globe alone aboard this same multihull (winter 2008/2009) when the record escaped his clutches by a little under two days, Thomas has gone on to win the crewed Jules Verne Trophy with Franck Cammas' Groupama 3 (March 2010). He has also finished third in the Route du Rhum at the helm of Sodebo and completed a number of transatlantic crossings on this 32 metre trimaran which he has been constantly developing. -- Translated by Kate Jennings

Aberdeen Asset Management Title Sponsor of Cowes Weeks - For Three Years!
Global investment management group, Aberdeen Asset Management PLC, has been announced as the new title sponsor of Cowes Week for an initial term of three years.

One immediate benefit of the sponsorship will be a reduction in race entry fees, a move that will be welcomed by the 1,000-strong Cowes Week racing fleet. Other new developments are in discussion and will be shared over the forthcoming months.

Commenting on the announcement, John Grandy, Chairman of Cowes Week Limited (CWL), said: "We are delighted to have formed this new relationship with Aberdeen Asset Management and are looking forward to working together to develop Cowes Week further, for the benefit of everyone involved in this great regatta."

Martin Gilbert, Chief Executive of Aberdeen Asset Management added: "We are very proud to be supporting one of the world's premier sailing regattas. Aberdeen Asset Management Cowes Week looks set to be a tremendous success and we are very much looking forward to enhancing the experience of both the crews and spectators who will descend upon the Isle of Wight later this year."

The dates of Aberdeen Asset Management Cowes Week for the next three years are:
6 to 13 August 2011
11 to 18 August 2012
3 to 10 August 2013

CWL and Aberdeen Asset Management look forward to welcoming everyone to the inaugural Aberdeen Asset Management Cowes Week in August 2011.

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Evan Walker Wins Colin Mullins Trophy
Perth, Western Australia: Evan Walker and his crew from Sydney's Cruising Yacht Club of Australia sailed a masterful final series to win the Colin Mullins International Youth Regatta, beating local skipper David Gilmour 3 - 1 in the deciding confrontation.

In conditions that were at best testing, and at times utterly cursed, Walker managed to remain cool and pick his way through the maze of different winds that mother nature threw at him, going two races up initially, before losing the third, and finally wrapping it up in the fourth race.

With the weather in Perth being influenced by a cyclone off the coast, the Swan River experienced everything from flat calm to squalls and torrential downpours.

Unlike Walker who had to fight all the way for his place in the final, David Gilmour had scored three convincing wins over fellow Royal Freshwater Bay Yacht Club skipper, Tristan Brown, to claim his finals place.

However Gilmour never looked comfortable in the light and fickle conditions that were the main feature of the finals.

The Colin Mullins Regatta is hosted this year by the Royal Perth Yacht Club, and sailed on the Swan River's Matilda Bay, and is a qualifying event for next week's Warren Jones International Youth Regatta. -- John Roberson

Final Results:

Skipper - Country - Club
1. Evan Walker, AUS, CYCA
2. David Gilmour, AUS, RFBYC
3. Tristan Brown, AUS, RFBYC
4. Harry Thurston, NZL, RNZYS
5. Matthew Steven, NZL, RPNYC
6. Tom Johnson, AUS, RFBYC
7. Kosaku Yoshida, JPN, JYMA
8. Danielle Bowater, NZL, RNZYS

For The Record
The WSSR Council announces the awarding of Performance Certificate No 35: Route sailed: Las Palmas to Guadeloupe. Benchmark time. Over 60 ft
Yacht: Renault Eco 2. 90 ft Catamaran.
Name: Roman Paszke. POL. Skipper.
Crew: Robert Janecki, Igor Szrubkowski, Mariusz Siedlecki, Robert Szustkowski, Robin Szustkowski, Jarek Kazberuk, Denis Bass, Viacheslav Konstantinovsky, Grzegorz Zalewski, Michael Adamczyk.
Dates: 7th January to the 15th January 2011.
Start time: 18:04:50 UTC 7/01/11.
Finish time: 20: 43: 01 UTC 15/01/11
Elapsed time: 8 days 2 hours 38 minutes and 11 seconds.

John Reed
Secretary to the WSSR Council

18ft Skiffs Australian Championship - Race 5
Click on image for photo gallery.

Sydney Harbouf: With the Australian Championship already decided in favour of the Thurlow Fisher Lawyers team, today's Race 5 of the championship on Sydney Harbour almost became a one race test for the upcoming Giltinan Championship in March.

Although the title was theirs, Michael Coxon, Aaron Links and Trent Barnabas had to be content with a second placing today as the defending champion Gotta Love It 7 proved far too good in the 20-knot North-East wind.

Seve Jarvin, Sam Newton and Scott Babbage sailed brilliantly from the start and were never on danger of defeat as they steered Gotta Love It 7 to a 38s win from Thurlow Fisher Lawyers.

Third placing today and second overall in the championship went to Yandoo (John Winning, Andrew Hay and Dave Gibson) which finished a further 52s back.

Red Claw Wines (Matt Searle) was fourth, followed by Rag & Famish Hotel (Jack Macartney) and Panasonic (Jonathan Whitty)

The final pointscore in the championship was Thurlow Fisher Lawyers on 6, Yandoo 14, Gotta Love It 7 15, Red Claw Wines 15, Project Racing (Andy Budgen) 22 and Smeg (Nick Press) on 24.

Next week the Australian 18 Footers League will conduct the Commodore Trophy. -- Frank Quealey, Australian 18 Footers League

Getting To The South
It was 5.56 am (Paris time) this morning when the Maxi Trimiran Banque Populaire V crossed the Equator, just 5 days 17 hours 44 minutes and 15 seconds since leaving Ushant. The maxi trimaran skippered by Pascal Bidegorry recorded the second fastest time in history on this section of the record attempt (Ushant to Equator). In doing so they have covered 3575 miles, at an average of 25.9 knots, keeping a slight advantage on the reference time of the Jules Verne. The crew is now recovering after a difficult crossing of the Doldrums and before the next challenging obstacle: The Saint Helena High.

Getting through the Doldrums was not an easy task for the Maxi Banque Populaire V as the skipper, Pascal Bidegorry, explained: "It's liberating to get out of there! It was pretty tense yesterday as it is not obvious how to sail in under 2 tiny knots of wind! We should gradually reach better conditions and we are now sailing at 27 knots in 15-17 knots of wind with full mainsail and solent. The wind still oscillates a little, but should stabilize in few hours with a clearer sky." Such conditions give the crew some time to recover a little, before having to tackle another tricky system.

With the Saint Helena High blocking the shortest route to the Cape of Good Hope, Banque Populaire V might have to get round this high pressure area spread out from East to West. "The situation is not very clear for now but we might have to go around the northern side of it, which would imply taking a big detour to reach Good Hope. We are attentively looking at the satellite images received every hour. One certain thing is that we do not have a crystal ball to look into but we definitely won't let any opportunity go, and make everything we can to increase our lead on the reference time" concluded Pascal.

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