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Out of the Grey and Into the Blue
This afternoon they passed the latitude of the tip of the South Island, 280 miles off Cape Providence, and for the leaders this ascent of the Tasman and through the straits will not be without its challenges, but it promises to be one of the most memorable stages for Jean-Pierre Dick and Loïck Peyron.
The duo have their lead at 504 miles this afternoon over MAPFRE who crossed into the Pacific this morning, and Estrella Damm who passed from the Indian at 1420hrs UTC this afternoon.
There have been glimpses of sunshine and often benign conditions in the south, but after three weeks in the high latitudes - spirits and moods will climb as the typically grey southern oceans vista, chill temperatures and drizzle gives way to the vibrant colours, blues and greens, and summer temperatures of New Zealand in its pomp.
For Dick and Peyron's it will be their first sight of land since their technical stop in Brasil on 15th-16th January, for MAPFRE and Estrella Damm probably since leaving the Mediterranean five weeks ago.
Virbac-Paprec 3 are still expected to start their passage of the Straits on Wednesday afternoon/evening. Their arrival to the northern corner looks set to become increasingly slowed by the light winds of the high pressure.
Saturday the crews of Estrella Damm and MAPFRE reported unusually big waves at around 47 degrees south, in strong SW'ly winds, waves which were significantly bigger than those suggested on the weather forecasts for the area.
These formations happen occasionally driven by a range of different factors, sometimes what Anglo Saxons call 'freak' waves, but are usually the result of the aggregation of different swells and wind waves.
The weather scenario still looks generally favourable for the top three boats for their approach to the Cook Strait.
Rankings at 1400hrs UTC Sunday 13th February
1. Virbac-Paprec, 12162 nm to finish
Estate Master Wins the Farr 40 Summer Sprint Series
"This has been a fantastic warm up event and it is terrific to see so many of our international teams who are in Sydney for the upcoming Rolex Farr 40 Worlds doing this event with us. I think we had a taste of some conditions we could see on the race track over the next two weeks during both the Farr 40 Australian Championship and the Rolex Farr 40 Worlds as well. It was extremely tight racing the whole weekend with boats finishing within seconds of each other which makes it all the more exciting racing", commented Martin Hill after racing.
Using this event as a practice for the upcoming Class Australian and World Championship titles, all 16 boats capitalized on the opportunity to tune up crew work and sailing skills. Teams for four countries, Australia, New Zealand, Germany and the USA all took part this weekend along with two teams who have travelled from Tasmania to race over the next two weeks.
German team Struntje Light owned by Wolfgang and Angela Schaefer won the Corinthian Division which had five boats competing in this division.
The Summer Sprint Series, which has been hosted by Middle Harbour Yacht Club, is the second last event in the 2010-2011 Farr 40 Australian Circuit with the season being wrapped up next weekend when the 2011 Farr 40 Australian Championship will be held on February 18-20 and hosted by Royal Sydney Yacht Squadron. -- Sam Crichton
2011 Farr 40 Summer Sprint Series Final results:
Place - Boat - Owner - Yacht Club - Country - Points
1. Estate Master, Lisa&Martin Hill, MHYC, AUS, 24.0
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Australia Prepares to host Rolex Farr 40 World Championship
The decision to conduct inshore racing will bring the likes of defending America's Cup royalty James Spithill and John Kostecki into the Harbour, offering locals a rare glimpse of such formidable talent.
Recently, Italian co-owner Antonio Sodo Migliori and helmsman Massimo Mezzaroma have found the best pace among their Farr 40 class mates. Nerone is the current Rolex Farr 40 World Champion (and European champion), as well the Italian team handily beat the Farr 40 fleet at the Rolex Trophy in Sydney last December.
"They are an awesome team," admits Guido Belgiorno-Nettis, head of Transfusion's Australian challenge. Belgiorno-Nettis lost to Nerone on the final day of the last year's Rolex Farr 40 World Championship in the Dominican Republic.
"We gave them a smell and they knocked us off the perch. You can't underestimate them, or get too cocky," Belgiorno-Nettis rues of the missed opportunity.
The Sydney businessman has invited American Olympian, America's Cup and winning round the world sailor John Kostecki aboard to call tactics.
Martin Hill, who yesterday wrapped up the Australian Farr 40 Summer Sprint Series, says having the hometown advantage will mean zilch when it comes to Nerone's ability to read the local conditions, "They are very comfortable in all conditions, they are seasoned campaigners".
The class' decision to race both inshore and offshore will offer the most demanding racing ever encountered in a Farr 40 world championship according to the Australian class president.
The RSYS will host the Farr 40 Australian Championship this weekend, 18 - 20 February. -- Lisa Ratcliff
Wind Picks Up for the Last Day of Primo Cup
After the first round last weekend which gathered five one-design classes (Dragon, J24, Surprise, Melges 20, Esse 850), Monaco bay again produced balmy spring-like conditions for four other series: Longtze Premier, Platu 25 and Smeralda 888, alongside the X35s which were taking part for the first time in the Monaco event.
X35: the most powerful and fiercely fought
This was the most competitive of the four series, both on the passages between the marks and at the finish line, as the majority of teams arrived within two minutes of each other throughout the weekend. The level was the most consistent and the highest, as evidenced by the presence of Tommaso Chieffi (Mag Jackpot Sailing Team) or Matteo Savelli (Lelagain).
The stable conditions of the last day of racing made for an even closer contest, as crews fought hard to get round the buoys. In a tense final race an element of luck separated the three leaders. In the end it was Mag Jackpot Sailing Team who snatched victory by one single point ahead of Spirit of Nerina and Lelagain, helmed by Alessandro Solerio, manager of the class at European level.
Longzte Premier: Happy Birthday to the winner!
In this young series which was first introduced here in Monaco three years ago, everyone expected Nicolas Berenger (Un maillot pour la vie) to shine as he fought to make it three victories in a row in Monaco, but it was not to be. He ceded victory to the German Eckard Kaller (Wet Feet) "just because it's his birthday" he joked, "but also because I made too many mistakes."
Platu 25: strong German presence but an Italian leader
With only one outright victory in a race, the Italians on Nanuk still won the overall ranking, following a consistent performance which saw them among the front runners every time.
Smeralda 888: Botta Dritta beats the favourites to win
"It was a fantastic week-end with at least five or six of us on the same level which produced a real battle on the water; the standard was outstanding," commented the winner Adalberto Miani (Botta Dritta). The Racing Officer of the YCM's Sports Section put in a fine tactical performance to outwit and hold off his two closest rivals, Money Time and Vamos mi Amor. These two teams had on board very experienced sailors like Vasco Vascotto (Money Time) and Francois Brenac (Vamos mi Amor), but it was Botta Dritta who won the overall ranking with Lorenzo Bressani on tactics.
The Primo Cup - Trophee Credit Suisse 2012 will be on the same dates, from 3 to 6 and 11 to 13 February.
After the inaugural U.S. event in Miami at the end of the 2010 season, the class is now heading west to make its 2011 debut at the Oracle RC44 Cup San Diego. The event features 11 RC44 teams representing nine nations.
Match and fleet racing will take place over five days on San Diego Bay with spectacular free spectator viewing areas from portions of Broadway Pier, Harbor Island and numerous areas along the downtown waterfront.
Among the top sailors set to compete on the 2011 RC44 Championship Tour are class designer Russell Coutts (NZL), American yachting legend Paul Cayard and San Diego native son Rod Davis, Audi MedCup winners Morgan Larson (USA) and Jose Maria Ponce (ESP), Olympic Gold medalist Kevin Burnham (USA), along with some of the world's top match racing talent including Cameron Appleton (NZL).
The RC44 class was conceived and co-designed by four-time America's Cup winner Russell Coutts. With an evenly split amateur and professional crew line-up, the class attracts the world's leading business minds as their owner-drivers, along with many of the world's top sailors.
For Oracle RC44 Cup San Diego information, or to book a hotel room, visit www.oraclerc44cupsandiego.com
'Moby Dick' Captain's Ship Found
The remains of the vessel, the Two Brothers, was found in shallow waters off Hawaii. Captain George Pollard was the skipper when the ship hit a coral reef and sank in 1823. His previous ship, the Essex, had been rammed by a whale and also sank, providing the narrative for the book.
The remains of the Two Brothers were found by researchers from America's National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (Noaa), about 600 miles (965 km) north-west of Honolulu in the remote chain of islands and atolls.
The wooden vessel has disintegrated in the warm waters, but the researchers found harpoons, a hook for stripping whales of their blubber and cauldrons used to turn whale blubber into oil.
The sinking of the Two Brothers was relatively uneventful compared with the Essex's run-in with the sperm whale in 1821.
After the Essex sank, Capt Pollard and his crew drifted at sea without food and water for three months and even resorted to cannibalism before they were rescued.
Pollard gave up whaling and became a night watchman in Nantucket, Massachusetts.
While Meville was inspired by Pollard's adventures, the unlucky seafarer's character is not thought to have been the basis for the novel's obsessive Capt Ahab.
Black Sheep Racing Finish 1st and 2nd at NZL Formula 18 Nationals
The first race of the day was light and shifty with results a little mixed. Brad and James managed a solid 2nd and Reuben and Tom 5th after being on the wrong side of a shift up the first beat. In the remaining two races the breeze filled in and saw a return to yesterday's results, with both Black Sheep teams finishing 1st and 2nd.
Brad and James kept their overnight lead to take the regatta, with Reuben and Tom a close second. We are all very happy with the result given we only started sailing multihulls just over a month ago and were competing against some other experienced teams. We hope to include more of this racing in our calendar at some stage later in the year.
For now though, we move our focus back to monohull match racing, where we will be putting in some solid training before we head to Europe in April.
Black Sheep Racing would like to say a special thanks to SLAM New Zealand for their great sailing apparel and Andrew Macpherson (Macca) for his wisdom and knowledge in multi hull sailing. Thank you!
Black Sheep Racing:
Venezia Challenge Chooses the Yacht Club Canottieri Marsala
It will be the Canottieri Marsala Club to bring Venezia Challenge to San Francisco to participate in the 34th edition of the world's most important sailing competition. A selection process lasting several months was carried out to identify the most appropriate Italian yacht club out of several candidates. Canottieri Marsala proved to be the ideal partner, with its sporting soul and depth of skills.
Carlo Magna, President and Co-Founder of Venezia Challenge, is the Lombard businessman who, together with Emanuela Pulcino, has designed and developed the project:
From SailRaceWin: sailracewin.blogspot.com
18ft Skiffs Club Championship, Race 12
After racing alongside each other for most of the long south course, the Smeg team of Nick Press, Daniel Phillips and Dave Ewings took the honours by just 13s from the Gotta Love It 7 team of Seve Jarvin, Sam Newton and Scott Babbage.
Third place went to Rag & Famish Hotel (Jack Macartney, Tom Clout and Drewe Waller), which finished a further 2m44s back.
Western Australia's SLAM, Grant Rollerson, finished fourth, followed by Yandoo (John Winning) ND De'Longhi-Rabbitohs (Simon Nearn).
Yandoo leads the championship from Red Claw (Matt Searle), with Gotta Love It 7 in third place, ahead of Thurlow Fisher Lawyers (Michael Coxon), Smeg and Rag & Famish Hotel.
All teams chose their smaller #2 rigs and it was a tight battle to the windward mark off Clarke Island.
All teams elected to two-sail reach back to bottom mark at Athol Bay where Gotta Love It 7 managed to narrowly head Smeg.
From that point the two leaders staged a match race for the remainder of the course and the crews were superb in an exhibition which produced one of the best races for some time.
If that's the type of racing we can expect next month at the Giltinan then we are in for one great championship.-- Frank Quealey, Australian 18 Footers League
Harken Youth International Match Racing Championships
Kiwi David Hazard representing the Royal New Zealand Yacht Squadron added another 5 wins today and with a total of 11 wins overall is 1 point clear of the other semi finalists. Australians Jay Griffin and Jordan Reece along with Wellington's Josh Porebski complete the final four with a total of 10 wins each. To break the 3 way tie Reece beat both Griffin and Porebski in today's matches and so qualifies in the second spot. Porebski beat Griffin leaving them 3rd and 4th respectively.
Semi finals and minor placings sail-offs begins tomorrow (Monday 14 February 2011) at approx 1200hrs.
Current Standing - End of Round Robin Two
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The J/92 features a large cockpit, modern deckplan, a blub keel to drive upwind performance and her sail plan is based on non-overlapping headsails. The masthead asymmetrical kite is flown from a retractable carbon bow sprit for simple downwind sailing in complete control. The net result is a family-friendly boat with more stability, improved sailing comfort and a noticeable performance boost.
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Solan Goose has a particularly impressive single-handed race record!
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