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The Wellington Question
One of the Barcelona World Race's unique elements - the fact that teams may make technical 'pit-stops' to repair damage in order to be able to complete the course - looks set to create a fascinating tactical challenge for the 10 teams who have yet to decide whether to pull into Wellington.
On the one hand is the benefit of being able to make essential repairs to potentially race-ending problems with sails, electronics, or other elements of the yacht, allowing the teams to safely resume racing at 100 per cent pace. Countering that is the fact that every boat which stops after 140 degrees East must observe a compulsory time penalty of 48 hours on land, potentially jeopardising hard-earned miles of advantage over their rivals. And of course, while 48 hours may not prove a winning margin at this stage at the race, no skipper can predict what will happen over the remaining 11,500 miles of the course after Wellington.
In order to prevent teams from planning stopovers as a race strategy, there are strict rules on what work may and may not be carried out during the pit-stops - for example, the boats may not replace their sails, or intentionally start the race with limited provisions to reduce weight. Groupe Bel was the first to announce their intention to stop in New Zealand, having suffered damage to two headsails which they will be repairing on land.
The Hugo Boss team announced that the IMOCA 60 suffered damage to its main track which has left Andy Meiklejohn (NZL) and Wouter Verbraak (NED) unable to hoist the sail to its full height for three weeks. Around half a metre of main track was ripped away on January 28. Whilst the boat will sail reefed to deliberately reduce the mainsail size in strong winds, in lighter airs the loss of sail area at the top of the mast will be a serious handicap to Hugo Boss.
Today's announcement from the team states that the co-skippers are hopeful of being able to make a repair without stopping, but they have dispatched a shore team, including original race skipper Alex Thomson (GBR), to Wellington, just in case.
Rankings at 1400hrs UTC Thursday 17th February
1. Virbac-Paprec, 11533 nm to finish
* See a video of work in progress on Virbac Paprec at sailracewin.blogspot.com
Extreme Act 1
This season sees six new teams entering into the fray against five existing teams from last year, many with new skippers and crew. With the world's sailing heavyweights gathering on the water for the first time, the competition will be highly charged and unpredictable, providing the Omani public with front row seats to the action as it unfolds.
The Extreme Sailing Series will be the one of main highlight events at the Muscat Festival that celebrates Oman's traditional arts, culture and heritage.
2010 winners, The Wave, Muscat return to defend their title, this time skippered by emerging star Torvar Mirsky.
Muscat's geography has made it an ideal setting for the Extreme Sailing Series, providing spectators with a natural stadium where the racing can be watched from the waters edge. The Race Village will be based at The Wave, Muscat - a new development with over 4,000 apartments, townhouses and villas spread over 2.5 million square meters offering contemporary architecture with subtle Middle Eastern influences.
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CSM Suffers Southern Ocean Setback in Velux 5 Oceans Sprint Three
CSM said: "I was about to change my mainsail from the second reef to the third reef. As I went to pull the reef in one of the screws that holds the mainsail track onto the mast caught on one of the sliders and the main would neither go up nor come down. It took about an hour to sort all that out. I tried to bear away and slow the boat down but by the time I got the slider moving again I looked along the sail and saw a huge rip had opened up in the back of the mainsail. The rip is about 2.5 metres long along the leech and the back 200mm of my sail is hanging off.
"It's put a real crimp on proceedings. I've got the big Solent headsail up but it can't pull as well the mainsail can push, so where we were doing about 15 knots we're now doing 10 or 11 knots. It took two days for me to get into this position but now I have to sail a higher angle and that's going to slow me down considerably."
Over the past few days CSM, currently in fourth place, had been catching third placed Derek Hatfield, the gap between the two reducing from 160 nautical miles at the beginning of the week to 140 nautical miles yesterday.
CSM is due to exit the easterly speed gate later today. He has less than 2,000 nautical miles to go until he reaches Cape Horn, the next major milestone on the sprint to Punta del Este in Uruguay.
Ocean sprint three positions at 12h00 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: 2741.7/ 0/ 279.6/11.7
Fast Formula For Fun
When the gun goes at Fort Charlotte, Antigua on Monday 21st February to mark the start of the RORC Caribbean 600, the racing crews will be pumped up with adrenalin to begin a high-speed adventure in arguably the best sailing grounds in the world. Warm breeze, day and night with big waves typify this race, making the central Caribbean a very special place to race.
"This race has it all," said Boogie, the skipper of the Swan 51 Star Chaser: "Lots of wind, no wind, big seas, flat seas, rain and sunshine. Our crew and Star Chaser have enjoyed every part of it and we worked very hard to keep the boat racing as fast as we could. When doing 8.5 almost 10 knots going to windward, you forget about getting soaked on the foredeck and just enjoy the ride!"
America's Cup and round the world helmsman, Gavin Brady was very impressed with the racecourse: "This race has something for everyone, certainly a race course where you have to concentrate all the time. I sailed in shorts and T-shirt the whole race, even though the wind strength got up to 20 knots. That's something you don't say very often after a 600 mile classic."
* ICAP Leopard, the record breaking 100ft super-maxi racing yacht owned by Helical Bar PLC chief executive Mike Slade, will cross the start line of the Royal Ocean Racing Club's (RORC) Caribbean 600 race at English Harbour in Antigua. Having set the, as-yet, unbeaten course record of 44 hours and 5 minutes in the 2009 inaugural race, the team are working to prepare the boat for the multitude of challenges that the race presents. The 605 mile course will see ICAP Leopard weave its way through the 14 islands of the central Caribbean.
Slade will be joined by co-skipper Clarke Murphy from New York. Together they will lead a crew of vastly experienced offshore talent, including top Volvo Ocean Race sailor and former Green Dragon Bowman Freddie Shanks (GBR), Volvo Ocean Race and Ericsson 4 sailor Guy Salter (GBR) on the bow and former Puma Ocean Racing Watch leader, Rob Greenhalgh (GBR) as Tactician. Other notable members of the crew include former GBR America's Cup sailor Ian Budgen and veteran navigator Hugh Agnew.
Speaking about the conditions expected during the race, Tactician Rob Greenhalgh said: "The weather is quite changeable at the moment. The Caribbean has been experiencing an intensely dry season for the last few months and we have recently been experiencing severe squalls. These squalls produce intense rain combined with strong winds which, if used advantageously, will really boost our chances of beating our previous record."
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My goals for the B6 design were as follows:
- Increase pointing ability. 14's are now 10+kt boats upwind but you still judge laylines by looking over your aft shoulder! Since righting moment is fixed, the best way to increase point is to reduce drag, both above and below the water.
- Reduce cost. Since adopting prepreg construction in the top boats about 5 years ago, the ready to sail cost of 14's has risen to around $50k USD. I cannot stomach that reality.
I've attempted to increase pointing ability by trying to reduce drag wherever possible. Under the water, I have reduced the width of the hull to what is basically the practical minimum allowed by the rule. This should reduce the windage and added resistance in waves. Although removing it would reduce the cost of the boat, I have kept the jibing centerboard design since it improves the efficiency of the daggerboard (by allowing it to be smaller) and it reduces the added resistance from the hull due to leeway (more important in this design because of its deep forefoot).
The B6 hull and deck will be carbon/epoxy skins on a foam core. The first boat is vacuum bagged wet laminate however I think our molds will work well for resin infusion. I anticipate that we may offer a combination Eglass outside skin/carbon inner skin boat option to further reduce cost. I have simplified the deck layout compared to the B6 by removing the underdeck chute trough and foredeck. This reduces cost and should allow the weight to come in close to that of the prepreg B6.
Very Old...World's Oldest One-Design Starts Build
The design was commissioned from GL Watson and Co by the Clyde Canoe and Lugsail Club and the first three were built in 1886, named Red, White and Blue. Three more were ordered the following year, but it's thought no more were built after that time, and it's also thought that none of the originals survives.
It is, according to GL Watson, holders of the design to this day, an opportunity "to allow 21st-century sailors to gain first-hand experience of the origins of one-design sailing". The drawings reveal that the origins of one-design sailing are a 19ft 2in (5.9m) LOA yacht with a 1ft overhang at the transom, 6ft (1.8m) beam and a sail area of 313sqft (29.1m2). A transom-hung rudder, long bowsprit, lug rig and low cuddy cabin complete the look. The boat is being built for a mystery client.
From the March issue of Classic Boat
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
If America's Cup Teams Were Formula 1 Teams
It's interesting that the phrase is still being thrown around in relation to the America's Cup version 34 which will take place in San Francisco. America is one market where F1 has continually failed to make a lasting impression.
Now that there are 5 or 6 or 7 challengers for the America's Cup, we thought it would be fun to see how far we could push this silly F1 analogy and compare the AC teams to F1 teams. Like all analogies it isn't perfect and will fall down in places, but this article might also educate some people who use the phrase "F1 of sailing" who wouldn't know a formula one car if it ran them over.
It doesn't matter which sport you follow, there are archetypal team personalities that seem to pervade.
Yachtsponsorship.com's lighthearted look at the America's Cup 'paddock':
* Cameron Kelleher's take on Bernie Ecclestone and Bahrain...
You've got to hand it to Bernie Ecclestone when it comes to straight talking his way round diplomatic trip wires.
In the past few days there has been a steady flow of reports suggesting that the opening race of the Formula One season in Bahrain next month could fall prey to civil unrest. Doubtless the scare stories are seeded in events on the streets of Cairo recently.
Race organisers have done their best to dampen down concerns that the grand prix might have to be cancelled with reassurances that they are monitoring the unrest in the country - the latest Arab state to face public dissent. The deaths of two protesters has done little to ease the situation.
Never one to exercise diplomatic restraint where a jackhammer will do, Ecclestone the diminutive F1 ringmaster, did little to allay fears when quizzed on the situation this week.
"The danger is obvious isn't it," he ventured. "If these people wanted to make a fuss and get worldwide recognition it would be bloody easy, wouldn't it?
"You start making a problem on the start grid in Bahrain and it would get worldwide coverage.
"It's hard to establish exactly what is going on. I'm speaking with the Crown Prince later on. We're watching events closely. We'll rely on what they think the right thing to do is. He is a very realistic person. I have never had any problems in Bahrain in the past and I'm happy to walk around town there. But we don't know now. The world is changing."
Indeed it is Bernie - and so has the F1 footprint in the past few years, at your behest, to include a number of races in politically combustible destinations.
Ecclestone's renowned powers of persuasion face a stern test in the coming days
You can find the Notice of Race in the events section of the IKA website:
The registration will be opened very soon as well.
International professional yachtsman Alex Bennett from Devon has today announced the launch of his new autobiography entitled High Seas, High Stakes.
Go behind the scenes of the infamous Team Philips project and Alex gives a terrifying personal insight into the fight for survival when the ill fated giant catamaran was destroyed by a hurricane in the mid Atlantic.
Alex has raced through some of the most unforgiving places on the planet. This is a revealing and honest account of the highs and lows of life in the fast lane of ocean racing.
The book goes on sale today and is available online at www.alexbennett.co.uk
US SAILING has officially appointed Jack Gierhart as its eighth Executive Director in the history of the organization. Gierhart has served as the organization's acting Executive Director since October of 2010 following the retirement of Charlie Leighton. He had served as the Associate Executive Director since November of 2009.
Gierhart has garnered over 20 years of sales, marketing, and general management experience in the technology and marine industries. He has spent over six years at US SAILING in two separate stints. Gierhart first joined US SAILING in 2002 as the organization's first Marketing Director. During his four years as marketing director, he managed the marketing, sponsorship, web, and licensing programs. Since re-joining the US SAILING in 2009, Gierhart has been focused on growing the organization's membership base and improving the overall information technology infrastructure, content management and outgoing communications initiatives.
Tune in to Sailing Spoken Here on February 18th at 2:00 PM EST (USA) for a live interview with Dawn Riley
Sailing Spoken Here is providing it's members with the opportunity to interview Dawn Riley, one of the worlds most distinguished sailors. Members can gain insight from Dawn's sailing knowledge and expert position on the sport during a live discussion session on the site!
As CEO and Captain of America True, Dawn was the first woman to manage an America's Cup sailing team. She is also the first American, man or woman to have raced on three America's Cup teams and two Whitbread Round-the-World Race (now Volvo Ocean Race) sailing teams. After which, she was the general manager of the French Team, Areva Challenge, her fourth America's Cup challenge. She is former President of the Woman's Sports Foundation, founded by Billie Jean King and is active in many public service and political activities. Dawn serves as a board member: of the NGB - US SAILING and the SCS Democratic Club.
"Papalapap" is in good conditions and is well maintained. The owner wants to sell because of time constraints.
Brokerage through Moosbrugger Yachts: www.yachtworld.com/moosbrugger-yachts/
Complete listing details and seller contact information at
The Last Word
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