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Duel In The Indian Ocean
The duel in the Indian Ocean between the 'Red Cow Boys' - De Pavant and Audigane - on the VPLP Verdier designed Groupe Bel which is also known as 'Cochise' (ed note as in Cow Cheese!), and Alex Pella and Pepe Ribes, who signs his communications as 'Jack Sparrow' on the Red Pearl which is better known as the Farr designed Estrella Damm. From being nearly eighty miles ahead of their French rivals, the RCN Barcelona flagged IMOCA Open 60 and Groupe Bel are now alongside each other on the same longitude and separated north-south by just 12 miles.
Ribes, on good form on today's Visio-Conference and visibly enjoying every hour of his race along with his partner Pella, quipped that they would be getting the binoculars out to scan the horizon for the Red Cow Boys on the Laughing Cow.
Estrella Damm were holding off the advances of the French duo, who have consistently had slightly more breeze due to their more favorable position to the north over past days. But Ribes seemed fairly confident that he and Pella would be better placed when the next windshift, from the SW reaches them.
Standings On Tuesday 1st February 2011
Gilmour, Tiller and Chapman Crowd the Top Spot
The overnight leader from the first day, David Gilmour, found the competition a little tougher on the second day, with those who hadn't sailed last week's Colin Mullins Regatta, getting used to the boats, and closing the skills gap.
Will Tiller from Auckland's Royal New Zealand Yacht Squadron put five more points on the board today, from seven races, and was one of the big improvers of the day.
There are three other teams level in fourth place, joining the scramble for those hard to get semi- finals places, Sydney's Evan Walker, winner of last week's Colin Mullins Regatta, Kiwi Matthew Steven and Seve Jarvin another Sydneysider.
Perth turned on classic Swan River conditions, with a fickle south easterly in the morning, which was replaced by a gutsy sea breeze in the afternoon.
Results after day 2:
J Class Racing Comes to Newport and the Solent
Three J Class yachts - both originals and recreations of originals - will race on Narragansett Bay in June, 2011 in a regatta staged by Sail Newport, Regatta Partners, and the J Class Association. These 140-foot designs competed for the America's Cup in Newport in the 1930s, and they have long defined the ultimate look of a classic yacht - long-ended, low-slung, with enormous sail area. Come June, we can watch Velsheda, Shamrock V, and the re-created Ranger duel on the Bay. A year later, an even larger fleet is expected to race a series of regattas in the U.K., including a race for a new Hundred Guinea Cup.
David Pitman, secretary of the J Class Association, made these announcements last night at Newport's Jane Pickens Theater at an evening honoring the class. The event was hosted by Sail Newport, which will be the official organizing authority for the event. -- John Burham's blog in boats.com:
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Velux 5 Oceans Ocean Sprint Three
Ocean sprint three is arguably the most dangerous leg of the VELUX 5 OCEANS. Numerous sailors have had their races ended trying to pass through this section of the Southern Ocean. Some lost their lives. In the 1990/1 edition of the race South African John Martin hit a submerged iceberg on his approach to Cape Horn and was rescued by fellow countryman Bertie Reed. During the 1994/5 event 70-year-old Briton Harry Mitchell was lost at sea trying to fulfil his dream of rounding Cape Horn.
Current VELUX 5 OCEANS competitor Derek Hatfield survived a dramatic capsize near Cape Horn in the 2002/3 edition of the race. Most recently in the 2007/8 Vendée Globe, Frenchman Jean Le Cam was rescued after his yacht lost its keel and turned upside down near Cape Horn.
After setting sail from Wellington at 2.30pm on Sunday, February 6, the ocean racers will dip south straight away to get into the strong to gale-force westerly winds that characterise the Southern Ocean. Once down there it should be a typical Southern Ocean passage - big following seas and fresh to strong winds pushing them towards Cape Horn.
Ocean sprint three starts from Wellington Harbour at 2.30pm on Sunday, February 6.
Abu Dhabi will Raise the Bar for Volvo Ocean Race Stopovers
In the next edition of the race, the teams will sail up the east coast of Africa as they did in the last, but when they get to the top they will turn right, into the gulf and stop in Abu Dhabi. No doubt there are some who are shaking their heads and grumbling at the decision, which is a commercial one, but if early media and promotion is anything to go by, the Abu Dhabi stop will be a huge thing for sailing.
With over a year to go, there is little or no noise from the other 7 stops, relative to the information that is coming out of the Emirates. Perhaps yacht racing visiting Cape Town or Auckland is not so new and therefore not so newsworthy, but such complacency plays into the hands of new, hungry venues that are looking to grow the sport. The Volvo Ocean Race is not just about the stopover, it is about a new nation in the race...
...Over the last few years, Abu Dhabi has flexed its credentials as a major sporting hub, with the successful staging of the Abu Dhabi Grand Prix, the European Tour-backed Abu Dhabi HSBC Golf Championship and the Red Bull Air Race. Just as the development of new sporting facilities like the Grand Prix track put traditional venues (like the UK's Silverstone) to shame, so too the investment into the Volvo Ocean Race stopover should give other host cities, not just of the Volvo Ocean Race, but other grand prix sailing events, something to think about.
Pushing The Limit
Given the opportunity to push the limits, the AC45 test crew put the boat through its paces in the strongest breeze to date.
"It was big breeze today - a good day for us," said Matt Mason. "We pressed the boat as hard as we have so a real good test for it.
"We put the bow in a couple of times at 30 knots and loaded everything up. We were on our toes the whole time and it was great for the boat and the crew to come out of it relatively unscathed."
The boat received some minor damage to the trailing edge of the wing in the first gybe of the day out of the Viaduct Harbour but nothing to get in the way of a 30-mile sail in up to 30 knots as the crew opted for a circumnavigation of the iconic Rangitoto Island.
Skipper Jimmy Spithill said sailing in 25-30 knots of wind speed was, "a hell of a test for the boat. We were right on the edge."
ACRM boat captain Troy Tindill was happy to see the shore support crew handle the craning out of the boat in 30 knots. "It was good to know we can manage the boat at these upper limits." -- Jane Eagleson
Seahorse March 2011
Talk’s easy - Part II
Trick boards - Part I
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Vanity Returns To Hobart In Her 100th Year
The Tasmanian One Design yacht Vanity, built in Hobart in 1911, has returned to sail on the River Derwent in her centenary year and be one of the major attractions at the MyState Australian Wooden Boat Festival.
Vanity, which has been lovingly restored in Queensland by her current owner, now Hobart-based Robert Virtue, is moored in her new berth at the Royal Yacht Club of Tasmania in Sandy Bay.
From February 12-14 she will on public display at the Wooden Boat Festival in Hobart's Sullivan Cove, along with other stunning feature vessels, including Gretel II, Princess Iluka, Tacoma, Hurrica V and the Yaizu Horocho boat.
For owner Virtue, a hydrogeologist with a passion for old wooden boats, this is the end of a five year restoration of Vanity, one of seven wooden Tasmanian One Design class yacht built in Tasmania between 1910 and 1912. Two others were built in New Zealand in 1914 and one was built in Bombay, India, some time before 1916.
Remarkably, all seven of the One Designers built in Tasmania, six in Hobart by Charles Lucas and one in Launceston by E A Jack, are still afloat.
The first to be launched, Weene, last week raced in the Classic Yachts division of the 175th Australia Day Regatta on Sydney Harbour.
The Tasmanian One Design class was based on plans published in the USA magazine The Rudder in 1910 for a 'knockabout' yacht designed by William Hand Jr.
Hobart naval architect Arthur Blore modified Hand's design to suit local sailing conditions, and by 1910 had persuaded several prominent yachtsmen to build these identical boats, for the sum of about £200.
They became known simply as 'One Designers', and they went on to dominate racing on the River Derwent until the late 1920s.
Vanity was the fourth One Designer launched, on November 3, 1911, for W F Darling, G S Crisp and Dr E J Ireland, who races her successfully for several seasons, including three times placing second (to other One Designers, Pandora, Curlew and Weene) in the 89 nautical mile Bruny Island Race and winning the North v South Cup on the Tamar River at Launceston - after being taken there by train.'' -- Peter Campbell
Sailing Arabia The Tour
In Sailing Arabia The Tour, the first race of its kind in the region, Team RAK will crew their Farr 30 yacht with both old hands and newcomers to sailing.
The 14-day event will pit the RAK crew against three teams from Oman, one from Bahrain and one from France.
The 1,408km race started in Bahrain Sunday and finishes in Muscat, with stops in Doha, Abu Dhabi, Ras al Khaimah, Zighy Bay and Mussanah. The boats are expected to reach Abu Dhabi on Thursday.
The crew consists of six or seven men for each leg of the race, and there will be substitutions made at some of the stops along the route.
Toby Haws, the team captain and manager of RAK's Royal Yacht Club, said the race was laying the foundations for future Emiratis to take part in international competitions.
He said there was "a great deal" of interest in sailing in RAK.
"The whole idea of the Royal Yacht Club was to get people on the water," he said. "We have everyone from top-notch racers all the way down to people who have never been in a dinghy."
Yousef bin Lahej, one of the Emirati crew members, said his inclusion on the boat would boost the image of sailing among locals.
"They call it modern sailing," said the 31-year-old, who has been sailing for 15 year and represented his country in the Beijing Olympics.
"It is seen as a western expat sport. Emiratis don't associate themselves with it - but they do with dhow racing."
That, he said, was changing. "We've had the Louis Vuitton Trophy and the RC-44 Team Sea Dubai. We've had a calibre of events but we have to change the mindsets of Emirati people." -- Eugene Harnan in The National, www.thenational.ae
See Oman Sail's Facebook page:
Red Hats and Greenies
While the Mount Gay hats are rationed, the flow of "Greenies" will exceed demand, as Heineken has been a Gold-level sponsor long enough to understand the needs of thirsty racers.
In 2008, the event organizers started a full-scale recycling program and became the first regatta to be awarded a Silver Certificate from Sailors for the Sea, a Boston-based non-profit dedicated to making sailing a lower-impact sport in 2009. Since then, their efforts have expanded to include dispensing refillable water bottles, using biodegradable cups at the bar and serving containers at all food stalls and conserving paper.
New for 2011, the Gill BVI International Match Racing Championship, which will take place March 30 and 31st off the waters of Nanny Cay, and also the addition of a classics class for the BVI Spring Regatta, April 1 - 3, 2011.
Brokerage through Comet sarl: www.yachtworld.com/yachts-classiques/
Complete listing details and seller contact information at
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