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2011: Progressive Continuity
Francois Angoulvant was elected president of the Class40 Association on the 29th of January at the Annual General Meeting. Jacques Fournier, who had been head of the Class for 4 years, wanted to hand over the reins.

His successor, who has sat on the board of directors since 2006 and has been vice-president for the past two years, knows the ropes perfectly: he will ensure continuity, but with a few changes all the same...

Francois Angoulvant, president of Class40:

We have set ourselves three key areas on which to focus:

- Continue developing the communications aspect to enhance the image of our boats and our competitors' sponsors,

- Set up a race calendar that appeals to everyone,

- Constantly ensure that the class rules remain stable while taking into account potential evolutions for our boats: we are at a reasonable compromise today, but materials and technology are evolving, as is their cost... For example, a specific material which was forbidden on the basis of cost a few years ago may be authorised in the future if the price were to become competitive.

Overall, our main concern is to find the best balance between the different boats and the different ambitions of each member ... "

The desire to make the class fair for all led to the formation of a committee at the Annual General Meeting, whose role is to come up with ways to enhance first generation boats (which made up half the Class40 fleet in the last edition of the Route du Rhum). The idea had already been floated in 2010. "Outright victory isn't the only thing that makes a boat", noted Francois Angoulvant.

The idea of a "vintage" or "Corinthian" classification was put to members, but the subject, which encompasses not just the performance of boats, but also what qualifies a team, and doesn't split the fleet, needs further thought.

The 2011 season will kick off in the Mediterranean with the Roma per due and the SNIM in April. The Grand Prix Guyader will, as ever, open the season in the Atlantic Basin. In the USA, the season will open with the Atlantic Cup in New York in May.

The biennial "Les Sables-Horta-Les Sables" race is the big summer rendez-vous for Class40. The event is both competitive and convivial, and has appealed to competitors since its inception. The Normandy Channel Race will again take place this year. Both of these events are qualifiers for the Global Ocean Race.

The 2011 calendar features two major end-of-season races: the Transat Jacques Vabre in November and the Global Ocean Race, a double-handed round the world race with stopovers, which starts in September.

For the 2001 calendar in full see class40.com

John Merricks Tiger Trophy
Tony Everard (left) and Dennis Merricks open the new John Merricks Training Center building. Photo by Tim Chapman. Click on image to enlarge.

Merricks After 13 years of trying, the £1,000 cheque to the first team to win all races at the John Merricks Tiger Trophy has gone to Andy Smith and Tim Needham, who conquered some fierce conditions in their 505 this weekend.

Some competitors were surprised when race officer David Wilkins, an Olympic silver medallist, decided to send sailors out for the three handicap races on Saturday. "David reckons it's only 20 knots," muttered competitors grimly in the changing rooms, looking as though they were about to sent out to almost certain doom.

While sailors were tipping in left, right and centre across the reservoir, keeping the tireless rescue teams working full bore all afternoon, Smith and Needham sailed majestically around the trapezoid course with seemingly little bother. That said, even Smith admitted to three capsizes during the course of the day. "There was one at the end of the second race near the leeward mark, ended up teabagging Tim and he fell off, another when the spinnaker sheets went under the bow, and another down the run. But I think everyone fell in at some point during the day."

Some ended up beached on the lee shore by the concrete dam, having to leave their boats there until there was time to rescue the equipment later. All in all, a big day.

In the evening there was the customary dinner to celebrate the life of John Merricks, the Olympic silver medallist who learned his trade on Rutland Water and who would have loved the big breeze of this weekend.

The following day dawned even windier, and there was nervous chatter at the prospect of the pursuit race taking place in high wind, with the exception of a few gung-ho competitors such as former OK World Champion Nick Craig. In the end, the race officer decided to call off the racing, although Craig went out anyway and put on a masterclass of survival sailing in his OK while everyone else packed up to go home.

Meanwhile, Smith and Needham were celebrating winning the Tiger Trophy and picking up the £1,000 cheque at a prizegiving in the brand new John Merricks Training Centre. This is a high performance facility funded by Sport England, Rutland SC, the John Merricks Sailing Trust and Tony Everard at Everards Brewery. John's father, Dennis Merricks, and Tony Everard were there to open the new building and to present the prizewinners with their hard-won trophies.

John Merricks Tiger Trophy 2011 winners:

Tiger Trophy: Andy Smith & Tim Needham (NCSC) 505
Junior Tiger Trophy:- (Highest placed Junior team.) Chris Taylor and Caroline Croft (HISC) 420
Shere Khan Trophy - (Highest placed team with combined age of 75+) Roger Dean & Dave Turner (Rock SC) 505
Lady Tiger Trophy- Val Millward (RSC) Challenger

Full results here: www.sailracer.org

Join Morris Yachts in Sunny Miami Feb 17-20!
Click on image to enlarge.

Morris Yachts Leave the snow and hassle behind and come to Morris Yachts' boat show at Shake a Leg Sailing Center in Coconut Grove to view three Morris daysailers February 17-20. This year's event features the M29, M42 and M52 dockside for your viewing. This venue is terrific for all sorts of reasons: great cause, great location and quicker access to some sailing in Biscayne Bay for those ready for a demo. We have reserved parking Saturday and Sunday due to the Arts Festival.

So please call or email us to let us know you are coming - +1-207-244-5509

www.morrisyachts.com/event/Morris-Yachts-In-Coconut-Grove

Gutek Hits Submerged Tree
Polish ocean racer Zbigniew 'Gutek' Gutkowski suffered the first setback of ocean sprint three today after Operon Racing hit a submerged tree. Just over 24 hours after the start of the leg from Wellington to Punta del Este, the 36-year-old from Gdansk reported hearing a dull bang on the hull of his Eco 60 - and when he checked for damage he found a tree caught on the yacht's keel.

Gutek was forced to sail backwards to untangle the keel from the tree's branches. He lost precious miles on his fellow ocean racers but luckily Operon Racing was not damaged in the collision.

"Around three hours before sunrise I hit something," Gutek told the VELUX 5 OCEANS race team today. "I was sailing with two reefs in my mainsail and the Solent jib. All of a sudden my boat slowed down and I heard a dull bang. I thought it might have been a container that I had hit. I looked all round, checked inside for leaks, but it was all clear.

"I set up a gennaker but Operon Racing was still going very slow. Then the sun rose, so I looked round once more and decided to go upwind and stop the boat. When I stopped I just saw this thing as it came on surface – a big tree or branch, with one part long enough to stick out the stern, so it could have been about 10 metres long. It took me half an hour to sail backwards and get rid of this stuff. It was really so heavy. That's why I was going so slowly overnight."

After just over a day at sea American skipper Brad Van Liew has stolen back the lead from race rival Derek Hatfield according to the 0600 UTC position report. Chris Stanmore-Major was just 16 miles behind the leader, with Gutek 20 miles behind Brad.

Ocean sprint three positions at 06h00 UTC:

Skipper / distance to finish (nm) / distance to leader (nm) / distance covered in last 24 hours (nm) / average speed in last 24 hours (kts)

Brad Van Liew, Le Pingouin: 5553.9/0/256.5/10.7
Zbigniew Gutkowski, Operon Racing: 5562.1/8.1/248.7/10.4
Derek Hatfield, Active House: 5569.5/15.6/241.5/10.1
Chris Stanmore-Major, Spartan: 5573.6/19.7/238.2/9.9

www.velux5oceans.com

A Clash Between Giants: Leopard 3 and Rambler 100
Registrations are going well for the second edition of Les Voiles de St. Barth (4 - 9 April 2011), with 40 boats having signed up in the five categories competing (Super Maxi, Classic, Racing, Racing-Cruising, and Racing-Multihull). As well, the impending top-level battle between the two Super Maxis Leopard 3 and Rambler 100 is sure to turn some heads and bring an extremely high standard of racing to this major Caribbean yachting event.

These two splendid racing yachts - the former a 100-foot Farr design belonging to Mike Slade (GBR) and the latter a 100-foot Kouyoumdjian design chartered by George David (USA) - have added the 2011 Les Voiles de St. Barth to their ambitious 2011 sailing programmes, which will reach a climax in July with the New York Yacht Club's Transatlantic Race.

Les Voiles de St. Barth, with its superb windy courses, offers the possibility of a different course each day, thanks to the imagination of Race Director Luc Poupon who will be providing these two giants with an opportunity to measure up against each other for four days in the blazing sunshine on the fantastic swell of the Atlantic Ocean.

With a canting keel and a mast towering 44 metres, Rambler 100 will once again require all the talent and experience of American skipper Ken Read and his crew from the Puma Ocean Racing Team, who are preparing for the upcoming Volvo Ocean Race.

Their challenger, Leopard 3, will certainly put up a fight, as her boat captain Chris Sherlock has brought together an international all-star team that includes Mike Slade, Ian Budgen (GBR), Robert Greenhalgh (GBR), Mike Joubert (RSA), Gordon Maguire (IRL), Luke Molloy (AUS), Jeremy Robinson (GBR), David Rolfe (NZ), Guy Salter (GBR), Mark Thomas (AUS) and Jim Turner (GBR). Thirty metres long, with a mast height of 47 metres, Leopard 3 also benefits from being equipped with a canting keel. The boat showed her amazing capabilities in 2008 when she shattered the trans-Atlantic crossing record held by Phocea with a time of 7 days, 19 hours and 21 minutes, averaging 15.5 knots with a peak speed of 37.4 knots.

The class of Super Maxi yachts alone brings together no fewer than six outstanding 75 –115 foot yachts for Les Voiles de St. Barth, and with still two months to go before registration closes, there are plenty of otherwise remarkable entries coming from around the Caribbean and across the United States, including Atrevida (BRA), a 105-foot Herreshoff-designed schooner; the 76-foot W-Class boat White Wings (USA); and Patrick Demarchelier's Swan 45 Puffy (USA).

www.lesvoilesdesaintbarth.com

Join Hannah White for 600 Miles Around The Caribbean!
OnDeck Hannah White, one of the UK's most talented and successful young sailors has announced that she be taking part in this year's RORC Caribbean 600 (starting 21st Feb 2011) aboard one of Ondeck's Farr 65s. This 600 mile race around the Caribbean starting and finishing in Antigua is in its third year and has attracted a good number of the World's great sailors and a great selection of top yachts. (Charter dates 19th-25th February)

Hannah will be 'mentoring' onboard with a crew made up of individuals of mixed ability from several countries. Whilst racing around these beautiful Islands, film maker John Loden will be documenting the trip for a short film on the world's best regattas. Ondeck specialise in offering these types of experiences selling single berths at all the major Caribbean and UK Regattas. For more information on the last few remaining spaces to sail with Hannah, contact Simon Hedley at Ondeck +44(0)1983 284300. Each member of the crew will also receive a free DVD copy of the completed film!

www.ondeck.co.uk

Illusion Match Racing
Illusion Match Racing Despite what some of the Illusion experts thought, it really was too windy on Saturday to sensibly contemplate Match Racing. The local weather station Chimet outside Chichester Harbour was consistent at 28 knots and the Bembridge Sailing Club weather station was showing a 25 knot average! However, conditions improved slightly on Sunday and with at least 5 knots less breeze it was decided to go ahead.

In the gusty conditions it was challenging to keep the boats afloat whilst keeping and eye out on starting procedures and stay in close contact with your opponents. Also keeping the main and jib trimmed whilst pumping out water was and endurance game and several boats could be seen sailing well below their waterlines.

After the first round robins, 8 sailors got send home which left 4 match racers to battle it our for the Illusion Match Racing Championship.

The final race went to Graham Bailey who was able to control the race from the start and taking home the silverware. In the "petit" final, Rupert Holmes had a surprise win in the first race over Mark Downer but Mark powered through the last two races to take 3rd place.

Various onboard videos made by Graham Bailey can be watched on YouTube. -- Rudy Jurg

www.youtube.com/watch?v=kuPkROCZhlc
www.youtube.com/watch?v=037-BUf0MG0
www.youtube.com/watch?v=mGJI8JQJmH4
www.youtube.com/watch?v=3FN7_L5W9gQ

illusionclass.org

Industry News
Cork Clipper Partnership has today revealed the strong economic impact of their participation in the Clipper 09-10 Round the World Yacht Race.

More than 105,000 people visited Cork and Kinsale during the Clipper 09-10 stopover in Ireland in July 2010, boosting the local economy by spending €5.6 million while they were there. In addition, according to independent evaluation, Cork took a healthy slice of the media value associated with the race which reached a global cumulative audience of more than half a billion people.

Cork, the first Irish entry in the history of the Clipper Race and funded by a three-way partnership including tourism body Fáilte Ireland, Cork City Council and Cork County Council, reached a cumulative global audience of 104 million people, with coverage valued at €26.5 million.

A key partner in the project was Tourism Ireland who promoted Cork through their network of overseas offices to consumers, trade and the media in key markets visited by Clipper 09-10 including the UK, France, South Africa and New York.

A survey carried out in Kinsale and Cork during the stopover revealed 98 per cent of those who visited would return to Cork as a result of the Clipper festival, while 97 per cent would recommend Cork as a tourist destination.

But returning visitors are not the only legacy. The Cork City Marina at the Port of Cork was built in conjunction with Cork City Council specifically to welcome the ten 68-foot ocean racing yachts representing cities, states and countries from around the globe. The marina is a lasting legacy to the marine tourism infrastructure in the region and its pontoons have been playing host to many visitors to the heart of the city long after the departure of the Clipper Race fleet.

www.clipperroundtheworld.com

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The YachtWorld Foundation, which recently announced SeaKeepers International as its primary beneficiary in 2011, is a sponsor of a gala event on February 18, 2011 during the Miami Yacht and Brokerage Show. On that date, His Royal Highness Khaled Bin Sultan, President and Chairman of Living Yachts Foundation, is inviting guests to join the International SeaKeepers Society, the YachtWorld Foundation, Yachts International and Epic Residences for "A Scientific Journey."

"A Scientific Journey" will take guests on a gastronomic adventure under the Miami city lights, featuring cuisine by the most exquisite restaurants in the city. There will be a VIP Reception at the Epic Residence 54th floor Penthouse, followed by tours of the 219-foot research yacht Golden Shadow and food tastings along the Miami River at the Epic Marina.

The beneficiaries of the YachtWorld Foundation are non-profits and individuals who support the mission of promoting awareness and protection of the world's oceans. The International SeaKeepers was founded in 1998 by a small group of yacht owners who were horrified by the deteriorating conditions of the seas. Their initial mission was to develop a compact, automated and cost-effective ocean and atmospheric monitoring system for their yachts, providing data to scientists on the health of the world's oceans. The result of that mission, the innovative SeaKeeper 1000 ™, is now deployed in more than 90 locations around the world, including yachts, cruise ships, ferry boats, buoys and piers.

To get a flavor of the evening click here or visit www.boats.com/blog/2011/

Tickets to the event may be purchased at www.showclix.com/event/17186

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Europe's biggest boat show, Boot Dusseldorf, closed on Sunday after achieving a 4.3% uptick in attendance. This followed the success of the Tullett Prebon London Boat Show earlier in January, which recorded a 7% rise in visitors over 2010.

Some 250,000 people from 60 countries filed into the enormous German show, up 10,300 on last year. It's perhaps too early to say whether these improved figures for two of Europe's standout shows signal a genuine recovery, but organizers of Boot were left in no doubt.

Werner Matthias Dornscheidt, CEO of Messe Dusseldorf, said: "The economic upturn discernible in the run-up to the show has truly gathered pace.

According to organisers, there was also a small increase in the number of exhibitors, up from 1,568 to 1,571, but that didn't always come across to visitors to the show.

The 'superyacht' area of the show, in particular, seemed a lot emptier compared to previous years, with space-filling seating employed to make the hall seem busier.

Motor Boat & Yachting: www.mby.com

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Mystic Seaport Museum and Herreshoff Marine Museum announced today that they have entered into an agreement in which the Herreshoff Marine Museum and Mystic Seaport will become affiliated.

Mystic Seaport and the Herreshoff Marine Museum are entering into a broad collaborative relationship because each museum's mission, assets, programs and aspirations are complementary with the other. The agreement provides both Museums with new opportunities to tell the broad story of the American maritime landscape. Both Museums will continue to operate independently with their existing assets, but will serve as resources to the other as needed and as agreed.

Under the agreement, Mystic Seaport and Herreshoff Marine Museum will work closely together in a number of important areas that will capitalize on Mystic Seaport's well established expertise in areas such as collections management, curatorial and custodial support, and exhibitions. In addition, the Herreshoff Museum has named Mystic Seaport as its exclusive partner in developing exhibitions related to the America's Cup Hall of Fame.

www.mysticseaport.org

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 Dermod Baker: Re wing sail for AC72 . Pete Melvin is right, I'm sure, in that the boats will be chockablock with the cream of the worlds sailors.But in spite of this, given the rule, the contest will, more than likely, be won on the drawing board of an Aerospace contractor who can get it right, and a company that can best build it.

Pity the poor commentator who has to bring some sort of excitement to the proceedings. Remember the last time! The guy with the hoarse Antipodean accent, perfect voice for a sailing commentator......." Yes, I think its happening folks"...YES! YES!..ONE BOAT HAS TACKED ON THE OTHER!.."It doesn't get any better than this". Unfortunately he was right then, and might still be right, but I hope he gets the job again!.

Featured Brokerage
Featured Brokerage Boat 2009 J Boats J/109. EUR 155,000. Lodated in Pornic, France.

The J/109 features the popular carbon fiber retractable bowsprit and asymmetric spinnaker system and a versatile 2-cabin interior layout with standing headroom. She is designed with a very low VCG, long waterline, and generous sailplan with the horsepower for competitive racing and stability for relaxed cruising when the racing crew is not aboard.

Brokerage through Boats Diffusion - Pornic: www.yachtworld.com/boatsdiffusionpornic/

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

The Last Word
It's too bad that stupidity isn't painful. -- Anton LaVey

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