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Tight at the Top
Racing took place off the Sydney Heads in a significant swell and building breeze that ranged between 8 and 15 knots from the south-east. Bright sunshine for much of the day brought a shining lustre to the racing as the title contenders went head to head. The top three boats are all sporting different helm and tactician combinations, compared to last year's worlds. The Nerone duo is certainly the more familiar pairing. Sodo Migliori was only absent from last year's win due to an accident just ahead of the regatta. He and Vasco Vascotto have been racing recently as though they had never been parted. Tom Slingsby was the tactician on Transfusion last year. This time he is on Estate Master. Change appears good in both cases. On Transfusion, Olympian, and, America's Cup and Volvo Ocean Race winner, John Kostecki has slipped into the role with ease.
Day 1 - Top 10 Provisional Results
"MAPFRE" On The Leader's Wave
Following 54 days of racing, or 1,300 hours of competition, just over two hours now separate leader "Virbac Paprec 3" from Iker and Xabi's "MAPFRE".
An identical Northeasterly course, and an identical objective: to pass the Western Pacific Gate as far ahead as possible, but with news. Things have changed between the two leading entries in the Barcelona World Race due to a crucial factor, as Xabi Fernández explained this afternoon: "We are now in the same waters with the same wind... and I'm not sure if they don't have a problem to be honest. It's almost as if they are sailing with a smaller jib...".
"We'll get to the gate tomorrow and in theory we'll be hoisting the spinnaker this afternoon and we should have another couple of days downwind with 25 knots or so", Xabi explained. "We'll see, but the good thing is that since we are so close it won't be a case of them catching different breeze to us and getting away. If they go a bit faster they'll get a bit further away and if we go a bit faster we'll catch up with them. I hope that we can keep up the pace until Cape Horn".
* It is certainly not the 50th birthday present that Groupe Bel skipper Kito De Pavant was looking for, especially not 'second time around'.
Such is the ironic timing of the Laughing Cow's crossing of the international date-line later today and tomorrow that De Pavant was passing his first 50th Birthday concerned about the weather situation but tomorrow he will facing up to the formidable tropical cyclone Atu.
Both De Pavant and Spain's Pepe Ribes, who both left Wellington on Tuesday night together on Groupe Bel and Estrella Damm, expressed their concern about how they would best deal with the trajectory and force of the challenging weather system which will propagate very strong winds and big, confused seas. Their key decisions will be based around the speed at which the system moves and both duos have been tracking the system consistently since before they left the Kiwi capital.
The system is due to pass swiftly, the two boats which were in Wellington, will have it directly in their path, giving them the option to pass to the north which will at least give them the chance to use the westerlies on the north side of it, but they would need to sail a steeper angle and more miles to get there. The pragmatic solution might be to simply slow and avoid the worst of it.
Rankings At 1400hrs Wednesday 23rd February 2011
1. Virbac-Paprec 3, 10076 nm to finish
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
Rambler 100 Breaks RORC Caribbean 600 Monohull Record
Rambler 100 has broken the monohull race record set by race rival, Mike Slade's ICAP Leopard by nearly four hours.
Two of the world's most impressive racing yachts have been locking horns over 600 miles of high-speed action in a fight to the finish. Competing against each other for the first time and battling it out to snatch the record for the third edition of the RORC Caribbean 600.
32 other yachts from 15 different nations crossed the start line of the RORC Caribbean 600, off English Harbour in Antigua, Caribbean on February 21st. Most of the fleet is expected to finish over the next 24 hours.
Two Cookson 50s are still racing in IRC Canting Keel. At the moment, Chris Bull's Jazz has the upper hand 23 miles ahead of Adrian Lee's Lee Overlay Partners and ahead on handicap.
IRC Zero is producing a fantastic contest between Richard Oland's Southern Cross 52, Vela Veloce and Peter Harrison's Sojana. Vela Veloce holds pole position but Sojana may well benefit from the beat to the finish from Redonda, but don't discount Brian Benjamin's Carbon Ocean 82, Aegir. They have 70 miles to go and their velocity made good indicates that they are still in with a chance of winning their class.
IRC One has Piet Vroon's Ker 46, Tonnerre de Breskens still out in front on corrected time, but their closest rivals have been hauling them in. Andy Middleton's First 47.7, EH01 will be hoping that the breeze holds out. They may be about 50 miles behind Tonnerre on the water, but on corrected time they are still very much in it. Richard Balding's Swan 60, Fenix has been having a great race and are currently third in class.
The Army Association's A 40, British Soldier has been the star of the show in IRC Two. However, Christian Reynolds' Swan 51, Northern Child has been chipping away at the early lead taken by British Soldier.
Latest news on the race website: caribbean600.rorc.org
Day of Comebacks Ahead of the Final Day Tomorrow
For Dean Barker and the boys on Team New Zealand it was an even better day, climbing from 7th to 4th in the rankings.
A total of eight 'stadium' races were staged off The Wave, Muscat that saw six different teams claim at least one race win, Team New Zealand scored two first places and the all-Italian team Niceforyou delighted in their first race win of 2011.
The short and demanding courses raced within the constraints of the stadium saw the on-water umpires dish out multiple penalties for blocking and port-starboard incidents in the light 7-9 knot NE breeze. The most dramatic incident of the day came when Torvar Mirsky's The Wave, Muscat suffered a collision with Alinghi, and very nearly ended up on the breakwater boulders. As Mirsky's crew called for water and tacked on to port, Alinghi did not react quickly enough and crashed into their port hull. The Wave, Muscat carried on racing but has been craned out tonight to undergo a long night of repairs. The team has confirmed they will be back racing tomorrow and they are still very much in the game lying in 5th place overall.
Day 4 Results after 25 races:
Bainbridge International Introduces Membrane Sails
Diax2 Membrane is designed to give the sailmaker a stronger, lighter, high performance membrane made to their exact specifications. DIAX2M utilises advanced fibre stringing techniques and is available in a variety of styles and fibre types, with the race version featuring clear films and the cruise version with double taffetas. Single and internal taffetas are also available.
Playing a vital part in the launch our new membrane sail construction is the creation of http://sailsource.bainbridgeint.com - an interactive trade website which allows the sailmaker easy access to accurate membrane quotes.
Keel Nightmare for Gutek as Cape Horn Approaches
It is suspected that a composite part covering the two pins that hold the keel in place has broken, allowing the four-tonne keel to move around 3mm at the top of the keel blade. The movement makes a knocking noise as Operon Racing accelerates down waves.
It is thought the problem may be related to an incident just a few days after leaving Wellington where Gutek hit a submerged tree. At 19 years old, Operon Racing is the oldest yacht in the fleet and has been round the world three times previously.
The Velux 5 Oceans race management are in constant contact with Gutek and are monitoring his situation closely as he makes his rounding of Cape Horn. The Maritime Rescue and Coordination Centre (MRCC) are also aware of the situation. Third-placed Derek Hatfield was this morning just 30 nautical miles behind Gutek and on standby to assist if needed. The race management have also been in contact with Operon Racing's designer as well as a hydraulics specialist who has advised Gutek to keep the keel fully canted to reduce movement.
At 1200 UTC Gutek was 68 nautical miles from Cape Horn.
2011 Brewin Dolphin Scottish Series
Clyde Cruising Club, organisers of the Brewin Dolphin Scottish Series, is encouraging sailing enthusiasts to sign up online for this year's event.
The event Notice of Race and Entry form is now available by logging on to the dedicated Scottish Series website - www.brewindolphinscottishseries.com
Last year 133 boats and their crews took part, and event organiser Clyde Cruising Club is hoping to beat this figure in 2011, encouraging sailors thinking about entering to sign up while the early bird discount is available.
The 2011 Brewin Dolphin Scottish Series takes place during the bank holiday weekend from Friday 27 to Monday 30 May in Tarbert on Scotland's stunning West Coast.
Check out over a hundred exhibitors displaying the very latest boats and kit, filling the halls with everything from the modern wing sail dinghy's to the classic Cherubs and Redwings.
Dinghy sailing's stars will share the secrets of their success in a full agenda of practical coaching sessions and master classes covering key topics from the fundamentals of foiling to those all-important start line tactics.
See the incredible wing sail C-Class Catamaran Invictus (Palm Court), the only one of its kind in Europe, and hear from the team about their plans for victory in the 2013 Little America's Cup.
If you fancy something more hands on test your towing skills with the Volvo Towing Clinic (book online at www.volvcocarssailing.co.uk or visit the Volvo stand F38) or get involved at The Boat Workshop and pick up DIY repair techniques from the maintenance experts (Great Hall).
For younger visitors there is the great Diamond Treasure Hunt or the ever popular Holt Blow Boat Challenge.
Young or old, novice or pro, cruiser or racer the RYA Volvo Dinghy Show has something for all dinghy sailors.
It's definitely the perfect way to take the wraps off the 2011 season!
For all the information about what's on and to book your tickets visit www.dinghyshow.org.uk or call the ticket hotline on 0844 811 0409
During January 2011 Rockley International Trainer Richard Percy also completed the first in a series of Turkey Yachting Federation (TYF) Dinghy Instructor Courses in Turkey, Cesme - both of these courses now mark the start of a new era of nationally recognised sail training within Oman and Turkey.
Travel and accommodation sporting packages in Perth for the ISAF Sailing World Championships in December have become much easier to book following an agreement with Qantas Holidays announced today by Perth 2011.
More than 6,000 international and interstate visitors involved with the ISAF Sailing World Championships are expected to travel to Perth for the championships which are being held from 3 - 18 December 2011.
Travellers to Perth will be able to book accommodation, flights and membership packages through Qantas Holidays, with the company being the Official Travel Partner of the Perth 2011 World Championships. In addition, Qantas Holidays is also the only wholesaler able to offer Qantas Frequent Flyer points with combined air and land packages.
Memberships for the Perth 2011 John Bertrand, Gold Medal and Crew Clubs will be available in conjunction with a large range of Qantas Holidays accommodation packages.
One of the more anticipated events in Internet marketing is the Reykjavik Internet Marketing Conference & Expo (RIMC). The next conference will be held in Reykjavik, Iceland on March 11, 2011 and is split into two tracks - one focusing on Social Media and the other on Search and Display. The conference features a knowledgeable lineup that includes speakers from YouTube, Facebook, Hotels.com, AOL, SAP, the Wall Street Journal and Dominion Marine Media (YachtWorld.com, BoatTrader.com, Boats.com). Representing Dominion Marine Media will be David Main, Head of Search Marketing.
Dominion Marine Media's management team is experienced in the marine industry and has a wealth of knowledge about how online technology impacts dealers, brokers and consumers. Main was selected as a speaker because he is identified as an expert in the field of search marketing with knowledge and experience of multi-regional and multilingual sites.
Main is a speaker in the Search and Display track where he will speak specifically at the "Mobile Marketing through Search" session. The topic of this session focuses on mobile's position as the next "BIG" channel when it comes to marketing - how it is being used and what we can expect in the near future." Dominion Marine Media has experienced explosive growth in mobile traffic over the past year, and the company has plans to launch additional mobile platforms for both consumers and customers.
Details on the Reykjavik Internet Marketing Conference and Expo can be found at www.rimc.is/en/FAQ/
AB Volvo Penta and Yamaha Motor Co., Ltd have decided to set up joint working groups to evaluate the potential for deeper collaboration between the companies.
On December 6, Volvo Penta and Yamaha Motor announced that they had signed an agreement involving technological collaboration relating to the development of electronic control systems for boats. This collaboration is designed to produce technological synergies in the increasingly important field of electronics.
The collaboration became operational at the end of the year, but the parties have already decided to take things further and conduct joint studies of the way cooperation between the companies could be further extended.
The collaboration between Volvo Penta and Yamaha Motor will not include ownership but is based exclusively on partnership in different areas in which the companies see opportunities for cooperation as a result of complementary customer offerings.
Yamaha and Volvo Penta have already agreed on distribution cooperation for Volvo Penta's marine engines on the Japanese market and the parties will study if there are such opportunities for similar ways of cooperation in other markets.
Tacktick's award winning range of performance, wireless electronics have been chosen as the instruments for the new Bavaria 40 Sport which was designed by Farr Yacht Design and was recently launched at the Dusseldorf Boat Show. A fleet of 7 of the new Bavaria 40S are also going to be used in the 2011 World Match Racing Tour taking place on Lake Constance in May 2011.
The Bavaria 40S is a Sport version of Bavaria's popular Cruiser 40 and will be fitted with Tacktick's performance electronics as standard together with additional high performance equipment.
* From Gerald New, sailweb.co.uk: Following the revelation that the winners of the SailJuice Global Warm-Up, were using unmeasured Aeroweb sails, that are at present illegal in their class, they retired from the event. The SailJuice event organiser commented in your report that - "they certainly didn't break the spirit. I respect their decision, but it wasn't necessary in my view. This doesn't mean I condone wilful rule breaking, but what happened here was not a case of that."
I am sure that entrants to the TT event (part of the overall SailJuice series) read the NOR and with their entry signed to sail under its conditions, including - 1.3 All boats will be required to sail according to their respective class rules,- I persume the other events in this series had similar rules in their NOR.
When you compete in these handicap events the assumption is that you are sailing a boat that is legal under its class rules, as required by the NOR, unless it has been given a special dispensation (and handicap). The responsibility falls on the competitor to ensure that his boat is legal as required by the event NOR. Otherwise there is nothing stopping say - popping up a 505 spinnaker on a Fireball, in the name of "testing".
There seems to be an attitude among some top level sailors, that apart from the Olympics and a few world/national championships, the rest are just training/fun events. But, for the majority of dinghy sailors, their weekly club trophy series (class or handicap) is of some importance, which is why they purchase class legal hulls and sails and maintain them. Any action that undermines the bedrock of dinghy class sailing should not be tolerated. Do we really have to have hull and sail checks before every club or open handicap race !
Such 'Laissez-faire' comments are in danger of undermining the considerable effort put into organising, running and taking part in large handicap events if they are to degenerate into a free for all. As it is, the withdraw of the crew from the SailJuice series after admitting to - "just testing the longevity of the newly designed sails not the performance" ( ah, that's all right then, just another training run !) - does not seem to have effected their position in the Tiger Trophy itself, according to the event results.
Of course there is always that catchall, also featured in the TT NOR - Rule 69, Action by a Protest Committee will apply at all times regarding any "gross breach of a rule, good manners or sportsmanship" Now which one did they not break?
* From Roland Whitehead: In the 23 Feb Eurobutt, Paul Cayard was quoted as saying:
One of the first things you learn sailing a C class is "never stop". You can't put a wing "head to wind" and expect to take a break because they keep on moving relentlessly no matter how little wind there is.
Geez, there are enough people in the world with C class experience, can't these AC "experts" swallow some pride and ask for someone with some experience to come and play with them?
TOKIO II, a Volvo Ocean 60 Class racer, was designed by John Swarbrick for Chris Dickson´s racing team and was built 1993 in New Zealand. Swarbrick`s new ideas and revolutionary construction drawings of his TOKIO II caused a great sensation and a lot of discussion in the sailing world.
The ever famous Z-keel, the cathedral rigging, the deep drawn arrow-hull, that gives TOKIO II a very modern V.O.70 lookalike, the dynamic shape of her construction lines, the so strongly built bow, winches and rigging and much more make this yacht one of the most outstanding und unique examples of the art and craftsmanship in modern raceyacht history.
In 2007 she had a complete renewal of paint and antifouling and serviced every part of her. TOKIO II is a well performing V.O.60 raceyacht with a nice shape of classical elegance. Her good performance and excellent seaworthiness, her complete and comfortabel equipment and a lot of space below deck guarantee sailing enjoyment of the best.
Brokerage through Boatcompany Yachtbrokers: www.yachtworld.com/boatcompany/
Complete listing details and seller contact information at
The Last Word
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