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Strait Shooters And Strait Jackets
It is a bitterly disappointed Alex Pella and Pepe Ribes who are expected to dock imminently in Wellington, NZ on their IMOCA Open 60 Estrella Damm, due to arrive in close company with Kito de Pavant and Seb Audigane on Groupe Bel.
For De Pavant and Audigane the decision made nearly a week ago to make a pitstop to repair two key sails may have lost some of its hurt and is marked more by the frustration of having lost miles after having been stalled for 48 hours by calms off Cape Farewell at the entrance to the Cook Strait.
But their Spanish rivals Ribes and Pella ironically had spent those same 48 hours working judiciously through a jobs list to ensure that they would be able to pass Wellington and proceed to straight into the Pacific.
But it was at a little after 0400hrs this morning that the duo notified Course Direction in their home port of Barcelona that they would be having to make a technical pit-stop after their main forestay failed and the main genoa furling drum had separated into two parts, whilst racing upwind in comparatively benign conditions.
Pella and Ribes, who became the first Spanish crew ever to lead the Barcelona World Race when they lead into the Saint Helena high pressure system, even reported that they were feeling pleased to have just fought hard to gain a handful of miles on Groupe Bel in the light conditions, just before the breakage occurred.
With Groupe Bel and Estrella Damm set to start their mandatory 48 hours halt tonight, meaning an earliest possible departure for them of Tuesday evening (UTC), the whole of this edition of the Barcelona World Race closes up, compressing to promise a highly competitive, engaging Pacific crossing.
When perhaps just ten or 12 days ago many observers were writing the race off as a done deal for Virbac-Paprec 3 who were more than 780 miles ahead of MAPFRE, suddenly the opening cut and thrust of the 'second half' of the race sees Jean-Pierre Dick and Loick Peyron's lead in the Pacific cut to just 122 miles this evening, or at the current speed of the super fast Spanish Olympic medallists, less than eight hours.
1. Virbac-Paprec, 11074 nm to finish
Farr 40 Australian Championship
Racing today was on the offshore course on the Macquarie Circle after the race committee decided the race course inside the harbour would not provide a fair race course. Racing in a very light sou'east breeze the fleet managed to complete two races and possibly get a taste of potential conditions to come over the upcoming Rolex Farr 40 Worlds. The race committee had to shorten the last race when the breeze decided to drop out and the fleet was drifting down the course with zero's registering on the instruments on a number of boats.
The winner of the Corinthian division in the 2011 Farr 40 Australian Championship is Strunjte light from Germany owned by Wolfgang Schaefer. Strunjte won the same division in the Summer Sprint Series last weekend and have local sailor David Chapman calling tactics.
2011 Farr 40 Australian Championship top five final results:
2011 Farr 40 Australian Championship Corinthian Division final results
2010-2011 Australian Farr 40 Circuit
DSM Dyneema, producer of Dyneema®, the world's strongest fiber™, and its partners are recruiting the globe for 40 'skippers' to test running-rigging made with Dyneema® fiber and share their experiences through social media.
If you are selected as part of the 2011 Dyneema® Experience Team, we will re-rig your boat completely free of charge with ropes made with Dyneema®. All we ask of you is that you test and experience rigging with Dyneema® and share this with us, your friends, family and other sailors worldwide, through social media channels like Facebook, Twitter, YouTube and Flickr.
The most active social media 'skipper' of the 2011 'Dyneema® Experience Team' will also enjoy a masterclass with a friend on one of the Volvo Ocean Race Yachts in Alicante.
Dyneema® has proven to be highly versatile for a wide range of products in the yachting industry. The combination of high performance and durability makes it the ideal material, for running rigging for performance cruisers and professional sailors.
The closing date for applications is March 4, 2011. The 2011 Dyneema® Experience Team ends on September 23rd 2011.
Register now at www.dyneemaexperience.com
Join the team www.dyneemaexperience.com
Anthony O'leary Is Worthy Sailor Of The Year
Anthony O'Leary of Cork is the Afloat.ie/Irish Independent "Sailor of the Year" in celebration of his outstanding achievements afloat nationally and internationally throughout last season, and to honour his dedication to sailing in all its forms both as a participant and an administrator.
The O'Leary pace afloat and ashore belies his age of 53. During 2010, it was in May that he was "Sailor of the Month" for an already remarkable list of wins with his Ker 39 Antix. Having topped the April Series in Kinsale, he then won the Crosshaven-Dun Laoghaire race overall, went on to win his class and be one of the top points scorers in the ICRA Nationals in Dublin Bay, and then went on to Scotland to win his class overall with a nail biting brace of wins on the final day of the Scottish Series.
To achieve all that before May was out was exceptional, but the O'Leary progress was only beginning. The big picture was to maintain momentum towards the international Commodore's Cup in the Solent in August. Antix was one of the three boat squad, and her skipper was also the team captain in a campaign which was light years away from the glossy efforts which dominated the boom years of Irish affluence.
In previous seasons, Ireland had been able to muster enough boats for two or even three teams, yet had never won despite being within inches of success. But this time round, only three boats were game for it, and only one - Rob Davis's Corby 36 Roxy - was new. Yet with Dave Dwyer's ever-keen Mills 39 marinerscove.ie filling the third slot, O'Leary headed a potent force, and he himself sailed with style and inspiring sportsmanship to give Ireland a commanding overall win.
Anthony O'Leary is the personification of Irish sailing at its very best. With the enthusiastic support of his wife Sally, he is father to a family which has logged outstanding sailing success at all levels. Yet he himself is in many ways the quintessential club sailor. He is as happy racing the Autumn series at Crosshaven with a 1720 or the West Cork regattas with a cruiser-racer, as he is competing at the highest levels. He has been among the front runners for the title of Ireland's "Sailor of the Year" several times. And now, as with all his wins, when he does do it, O'Leary does it with style.
Francesco De Angelis on the America's Cup
Zero Gradi Nord: If one wanted to renovate the America's Cup was it necessary to focus on multihulls or could we have chosen a different way?
Francesco de Angelis: Change was necessary and change of the class was indispensable. Monohull or multihull? Everybody have their own opinion. I consider that sailors, being professionals, would succeed, through training, to match race even using a different platform. Surely the general public has been able to get passionate about sailing through years of television broadcasting and is now in position to understand the most important rules that, we should always keep in mind, are very difficult. Obviously, all that will radically change, because the introduction of multihulls will impose profound modifications to the Racing Rules, which at present don't allow umpires to umpire a duel on those new platforms. Whether the catamaran is suitable or not is, as a result, something we will see later on. It will also depend on the type of race courses they choose, the new rules and the racing format.
Zero Gradi Nord: The Cup teaches us that the Defender always has its advantages but it is widely believed that Oracle Racing moves towards the defense of an unbridgeable gap. Is it truly like that?
Francesco de Angelis: History tells us that a challenger can beat the Defender. Without any doubt, Oracle Racing find themselves with a very big head start, but not only on the technological aspect, because at the end of the day the wing isn't as complex as people initially thought. The advantage the Americans have lies in having well selected their personnel, taking advantage of the transitional period between their victory and the presentation of the new format. They were able to strengthen all areas they thought could be improved. Then, don't forget that the Defender is working on all cylinders since almost four years. From a structural standpoint, the engine is very well organized: the loop between the design team, the boatyard, the sailors, the technical staff, has always been active. It will really be very difficult for the challengers... but not impossible.
Full interview posted in Valencia Sailing: www.vsail.info
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Boats Ready For Battle In Oracle RC44 Cup San Diego
International high-tech sailing has been brought to the very front steps of downtown San Diego as nine 44-foot carbon fiber RC44 Class yachts have arrived at the Broadway Pier in preparation for the Oracle RC44 Cup San Diego. Tilted provocatively in their innovative shipping containers, these carbon fiber yachts will soon join two already launched to compete in a series of match and fleet race sailing on San Diego Bay March 2-6.
Featuring a 50-50 mix of the world's top professional and amateur-level talent, this is the RC44 Class's first event of their 2011 Season and the only U.S. stop in a tour which spans six nations. Numerous stars from sailing's top events - the America's Cup, Olympic Games, Volvo Ocean Race, and many World Championships - have spread themselves among 11 teams representing nine nations for this high-caliber regatta.
As a venue, San Diego will continue its long history of hosting world-class sailing events - the America's Cup was first held in San Diego in 1988, then again in 1992 and 1995 - but with the racing taking place in the Bay it will be more accessible than ever. Unlike previous America's Cups, the boats, the teams, the sponsors and all the organization for the Oracle RC44 Cup San Diego Cup will be based at the Broadway Pier and its brand-new Port Pavilion, with a Race Village planned for easy public access to all the activities of the event.
From Broadway Pier and other waterfront vantage points, spectators will get an unprecedented close look at all the action that comes from highly-competitive one-design racing. Racing will start daily at 11:30 AM and continue until the fleet returns to the Pier at about 4:30 PM.
As further enticement for attendees, event organizers from the Sailing Events Association San Diego (SEA SD) have forged partnerships with select top hotels along San Diego Bay and throughout the downtown Gaslamp area to offer special event rates for those planning a visit to San Diego for the event. These deals can still be found for a limited time only on the event's website at www.oraclerc44cupsandiego.com
In A Year's Time
The dragon is a symbol of bravery and ambition and 2012 will be the year of the water dragon, the perfect avatar for this edition's sailors.
It will be the second time that China hosts a stopover for the Volvo Ocean Race, and the city of Sanya will offer a completely different side of China. The Volvo Ocean Race will be a big feature in boosting the region's profile in Asia as well as engaging the local population in sailing.
Situated in the southern tip of the province of Hainan, Sanya is the most tropical region of China with over 200 kilometres of coastline and natural beaches. The city has become one of the country's most popular tourist destinations with its five star holiday resorts, amazing golf courses, mild climate and wide range of water sports including snorkelling and scuba-diving.
Sanya is famous for its kilometres of white beaches, coral reefs and crystal-clear seawater. The city is only 35 km from one of the largest tropical rainforest areas in Hainan and is surrounded by exotic and historical sites like the Luihuitou Park, the rock carvings at Tianya Haijiao and the Nanshan Buddhism Cultural Center.
The timing of the stopover will offer an excellent combination of an introduction to sailing culture for locals and a taste of Chinese tradition for visitors as fireworks and dragon dances commemorate the start of the Chinese New Year.
The Desire For Lightweight, Breathable Clothing Continues To Grow
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18ft Skiffs Ferry Patrons Trophy
Pure Blonde's crew of James Francis, Brad Phillips and Cameron McDonald had withstood a fast-finishing burst by Gotta Love It 7 to win the race, but later James Francis realized that they had misread their handicap and had actually shortened their course roundings and withdrew from the race.
It was unfortunate as Pure blonde had grabbed the lead at the first set of 3-buoys windward mark and opened up a lead of 2mins during the race.
Seve Jarvin, Sam Newton and Scott Babbage sailed a great race in the light, fluctuating SE breeze, to bring Gotta Love It 7 home seemingly in second place as they had to go to the furthest windward mark on each of three occasions.
They failed to catch Pure Blonde by only 12s after picking up a favourable breeze on the final windward leg to the finish.
Race 13 of the Club Championship will be sailed next Sunday.
The Giltinan Championship will commence the following week. Invitation Race is Friday 4 March and the Championship races begin 5 march. The last race of the championship is 13 March. -- Frank Quealey, Australian 18 Footers League
Chicago Match Race Center Winter Invitational
Today's racing started just a little later than yesterday, but only by half an hour at most. We started racing in a dying north westerly, that quickly filled from the north east and made for great racing. Around mid-morning, people began coming out in their boats to spectate and enjoy the beautiful weather that we had today. The bay got very choppy very quickly. This made the conditions very challenging, particularly when trying to keep up boat speed. But the race committee did a fantastic job, given the shifting winds and tough waters, in getting in the racing. Racing was concluded after the second round robin was completed due to time constraints. As a result the final gold round robin was not sailed and the results were taken from the combined first and second round robins. -- Anna Tunnicliffe, www.annatunnicliffe.com
National Australia Bank Top Dog Trophy: Tomes Cup 2011
After the first two events of this four-race series to establish Hong Kong's top keelboat helm for 2010-2011 sailing season, Squiffy, Swedish Blue and Noisy Forefather were leading the Top Dog table.
RO Gareth Williams checked out the conditions and, finding a light northerly, set Course 4 with a Hung Hom start. The course took the fleet back and forth across Victoria Harbour, aiming for a target finish time of 1645hrs. In order to finish as close to the target time as possible, the RHKYC Pursuit Race courses include an infinite loop, however this was not required as the boats endured a slow, light wind afternoon.
Ten boats had already called it a day by the time Helmuth Hennig's Blondie IV took the gun, 10 minutes before the target time, narrowly beating arch rival Ambush into second. A slow but steady procession of boats then followed, with the final finish recorded by Ken Borthwick on Brigand just seven minutes before the cut-off.
Top Ten Tomes Cup
1. Blondie IV, Helmuth Hennig
At a well-attended prizegiving, Mrs Darinka Stevic-Wages, Chief Operating Officer of NAB Asia presented Blondie IV with the Tomes Cup, the covetable piece of silverware dating back to 1880.
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