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Transfusion Takes The Lead
Photo by Andrea Francolini, www.afrancolini.com. Click on image for photo gallery.

Rolex Farr 40 Worlds Top of the Rolex Farr 40 Worlds pancake pile this evening is Guido Belgiorno-Nettis' Transfusion (AUS), but only just, after posting a 1st, 7th, 4th scoreline to gain the overall lead by three points.

Transfusion finished bridesmaid to Nerone at last year's Worlds staged in the Dominican Republic and this year the new duo of Belgiorno-Nettis and American tactician John Kostecki are combining well, and the teamwork on the boat is polished, like the stunning trophy they have in their sights.

Belgiorno-Nettis this evening praised Kostecki for some "beautiful calls", and his team for "nibbling their way back in the last race" after they were buried back in the fleet.

Massimo Mezzaroma and Antonio Sodo Migliori's Nerone (ITA), has moved into second, putting on the afterburners following a shoddy start to the day, and nailing a 10th, 1st, 1st result to the door.

Lisa and Martin Hill's Estate Master (AUS) has slipped back into third, following a less than satisfactory 7th, 9th, 10th, compared to yesterday's stunning performance which had them clubhouse leader.

Consistency and minimising damage have always been watchwords at the Rolex Farr 40 Worlds. No less so this year, as the 14th Farr 40 class World Championship moves beyond the halfway point.

With the winds from the northeast initially struggling to stabilize around 8-10 knots, and a strong current heading north, the race area moved north from yesterday's location to just off Manly Beach, affording crews and spectators an exceptional backdrop. By the last race the winds were up to a sprightly 12 - 15 knots. It was a long day and a late finish with the 20 tired crews arriving back at the host club, the Royal Sydney Yacht Squadron, after 7pm this evening. -- Lisa Ratcliff

Top ten after six races:

1. Transfusion, AUS, Guido Belgiorno-Nettis, 4-4-2-1-7-4, 22 points
2. Nerone , ITA, Antonio Sodo Migliori & Massimo Mezzaroma, 2-1-10-10-1-1, 25
3. Estate Master, AUS, Lisa & Martin Hill, 1-8-1-7-9-10, 36
4. Flash Gordon, USA, Helmut & Evan Jahn, 11-2-9-2-8-5, 37
5. Struntje Light, GER, Wolfgang & Angela Schaefer, 3-13-3-3-4-13, 39
6. Voodoo Chile, AUS, Andrew Hunn & Lloyd Clark, 5-9-8-17-3-2, 44
7. Barking Mad, USA, Jim Richardson, 15-10-5-11-2-3, 46
8. Kokomo, AUS, Lang Walker, 19-5-4-9-5-9, 51
9. Hooligan, AUS, Marcus Blackmore, 13-3-6-5-16-14, 57
10. Plenty, USA, Alex Roepers, 10-7-13-4-13-11, 58

www.farr40worlds.com
www.regattanews.com

America's Cup: Iain Murray - Big Changes To Umpiring Likely
Over the past two days, the Competitors in the 34th America's Cup have been attending a Competitors Forum in Auckland.

A lot of ground was covered in the sessions ranging from clarification of the measurement process and AC72 class rule; the direction of the AC45 one design class rule; the draft racing rules for the America's Cup, including an electronic umpiring system; dates and possibilities of venues for the World Series; progress in San Francisco - including team bases and on the water activities.

A major move in the rules are has been the dropping of the smaller wingsail, which was always fraught with issues as to its use, and teams will now just sail with the single big 40metre tall wing. The upper wind limit of 33kts will stay in, however Murray says that sea state is a bigger factor than wind strength for the 72ft catamaran.

The Racing Rules have been simplified and electronic umpiring introduced after trials in San Francisco. Murray says that the accuracy is now down to 20mm and the Umpires for the 34th America's Cup and Louis Vuitton Cups will now operate from a booth ashore and communicate to the competitors electronically.

It would seem that the days of penalty turns have also gone, which were always going to be very interesting at the top end of the wind range. Instead the Umpires will assess a penalty for the infringing boat and will drop them back so their advantage is lost and a punitive penalty applied.

More from Richard Gladwell at Sail-World:
www.sail-world.com

Get Out Of The Doldrums, Register Now For Dyneema&Reg; Experience Team - Free Rigging, Sailing Master Class, Fun, Fun, Fun
Dyneema Experience Team Win a Complete Re-Rig For Your Boat and Sailing Masterclass

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

French Team Clinch Act 1 Victory In Oman
Photo by Sander van der Borch, www.sandervanderborch.com. Click on image for photo gallery.

The Wave, Muscat It was what has become a classic Extreme Sailing Series finish to Act 1 at The Wave, Muscat, Oman. The all-French team of Groupe Edmond de Rothschild clinched victory in the final double points race at the end of an astonishing 32 races over 5 days. "I didn't know what to expect in terms of emotion in the case of victory, I didn't have time to digest it as my crew threw me in the water," said an emotional Pierre Pennec who was in tears at the finish. "I am very emotional as it's a lot of work, a lot of personal investment. It's a long time now that I wanted to drive an Extreme 40, and winning ahead of all these champions, it's amazing."

Two races from the end, and the entire top 7 boats could in theory still win the event! With 22 points available in the final seventh race of today, both Artemis Racing and Red Bull Extreme Sailing were able to take victory, but in the end Terry Hutchinson's Artemis Racing finished in 4th place, one place ahead of Pennec's men who had therefore done enough, Terry commented: "It's good to see that all our hard work since the end of 2010 has paid off but there is still much room for us to improve. We're having a little bit of a crew rotation for Act 2 in Qingdao, so there will be lots of work to do". Act 2 of the Extreme Sailing Series will be staged between the 15th to 17th April in Qingdao, China, preceded by two open-water racing days.

Extreme Sailing Series, Act 1 at The Wave, Muscat
Overall Results after 32 races:

1. Groupe Edmond de Rothschild (FRA), Pierre Pennec, 253 points
2. Artemis Racing (SWE), Terry Hutchinson, 243
3. Red Bull Extreme Sailing (AUT), Roman Hagara, 239
4. Emirates Team New Zealand (NZL), Dean Barker, 236
5. Luna Rossa (ITA), Max Sirena, 234
6. Alinghi (SUI), Tanguy Carioiu, 217
7. The Wave, Muscat (OMA), Torvar Mirsky, 208
8. Oman Air (OMA), Sidney Gavignet, 188
9. Team Extreme (EUR), Roland Gaebler, 143
10. Niceforyou (ITA), Alberto Barovie, 95
11. Team GAC Pindar (GBR), Ian Williams, 62

www.extremesailingseries.com

Thirteen Miles Separate The Top Two
They have become increasingly close over the past 24 hours but it was only today that Virbac-Paprec 3's French co-skipper Loick Peyron acknowledged that the speed race between the long time race leaders and their Spanish Olympic medal winning adversaries Iker Martinez and Xabi Fernandez would be an even one over coming days.

MAPFRE have closed down nearly 150 miles on Virbac-Paprec 3 since the French duo restarted out of Wellington last Friday, but Peyron has pointed to an inherent advantage granted to the MAPFRE speedsters who, as the chasing boat, have had stronger wind pressure.

But, after the duo passed the second ice gate of the Pacific in match-race formation this morning, they have twice traded almost simultaneous gybes only 20 miles apart on the water after over 55 days and more than 16,000 miles of racing.

The two Barcelona World Race leaders today saw their miles to finish drop under 10,000 miles to the finish

There will be a certain amount of relief among the quarter of the fleet which have been most concerned about their passage relative to Atu, which has now been downgraded to be a strong, difficult low pressure system which threatens much more with the potentially big and chaotic sea state, and the timing of the trajectory of the system now much more of a challenge than the magnitude of the winds which were previously forecast.

Rudder maintenance has been high on the agenda for third placed Pachi Rivero and Toño Piris on Renault Z.E Sailing Team. The Spanish duo reported that they had been increasingly plagued by play between the carbon rudder blade and the blades' mountings, but an extended maintenance session, removing one of the blades, extensive greasing and replacing a pintle again, and packing the cheeks of the other blade with rope, has relieved their issue.

Rankings at 1400hrs Thursday 24th February 2011

1. Virbac-Paprec 3, 9634 nm to finish
2. Mapfre, 13 nm to leader
3. Renault Z.E, 999
4. Neutrogena, 1124
5. Mirabaud, 1228
6. Groupe Bel, 1497
7. Estrella Damm Sailing Team, 1544
8. Hugo Boss, 1695
9. Gaes Centros Auditivos, 1704
10. Forum Maritim Catala, 3097
11. Central Lechera Asturiana, 3504
12. We Are Water, 4217
RTD Foncia
RTD President

www.barcelonaworldrace.org

ORACLE RC44 Cup San Diego
ORACLE RC44 Cup San Diego The Oracle RC44 Cup San Diego will take place on San Diego Bay, March 2 - 6, 2011.

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

Hugh Styles Appointed as World Youth Sailing Trust Coach
ISAF is delighted to announce that Hugh Styles (GBR) has been appointed as the World Youth Sailing Trust's coach and will be present at the 2011 ISAF Youth Sailing World Championships in Zadar, Croatia to coach sailors on ISAF's Athlete Participation Programme.

Styles, who finished sixth in the Tornado at the 2000 Sydney Olympic Games, has 20 years of elite level competitions experience and will bring invaluable knowledge to the sailors who are selected as part of the Athlete Participation Programme.

The 36-year-old from Poole, Dorset is a Royal Yachting Association qualified Level Three Racing Coach. From 2003-2004 Styles was the RYA Hobie 16 Class Coach and focused on a squad of eight sailors who delivered an ISAF Youth Worlds gold medal for Great Britain.

The ISAF Youth Worlds take place from 7-16 July in Zadar, Croatia this year and Styles is looking past this year's event and focusing on the long term legacy.

"I hope that in the next 5-10 years we can raise the game of youth sailing internationally and with the ever increasing ability to get online more people will be able to see what is going on in real time.

"The legacy of this event is really important because it builds into our sport. The ISAF Youth Worlds can help us develop links with the emerging nations in Asia, Africa and South America and from there we can build more opportunities for these countries to become even more successful."

www.sailing.org

Global Solo Race 2013-14 Circumnavigation Announced
Following the enormous interest in the double-handed, Class40 Global Ocean Race 2011-12 (GOR), the GOR Race Organisation team can now confirm a single-handed circumnavigation for Category Zero compliant Class40's in 2013-14. Due to the increasing frequency of serious enquiries for a solo, Class40 round-the-world race, the provisional Notice of Race for the Global Solo Race 2013-14 (GSR) has been published to provide teams with a two-year lead time for race preparation.

During the single-handed, transatlantic Route du Rhum - La Banque Postale late last year, Class40 represented the biggest class in the race with 44 entries supplying 51 per cent of the overall fleet and delivering the closest racing in the event. "There is a clear desire from sailors worldwide for an affordable and highly-competitive solo round the world race," explains GOR and GSR Race Director, Josh Hall. "As official organisers of Class40 round the world races, we are extremely pleased to issue the NOR for just such an event," he continues.

The GSR will start from a European port on 10th November 2013 and will include just two stopover ports, dividing the 33,000 mile circumnavigation into three legs. With the intention of limiting fleet separation and mitigating the risk of exposing individual competitors in the remote Southern Ocean sector of the Indian and Pacific Oceans, Leg 1 will finish in Cape Town, South Africa, following approximately 7,500 miles of racing through the Atlantic; Leg 2 will finish in Punta del Este, Uruguay, following 13,000 miles of racing through the Indian and Pacific Oceans and around Cape Horn. "Re-grouping the fleet both before and after the long, challenging Southern Ocean leg will provide increased safety and ensure the close racing which features in all Class40 events," confirms Hall.

Finally, Leg 3 will be direct from Uruguay to the finish port. The provisional re-start date for Leg 2 in Cape Town is 5th January 2014 and Leg 3 will provisionally start on 23rd March 2014 with the finish in Europe after a 6,200 mile climb north through the South and North Atlantic.

For more information about the GSR 2013-14 and the provisional NOR, please contact:

Dubarry Sligo - From High Seas To High Street
Dubarry You don't stop being a yachtsman when you step off the deck. It's not just the year-round tan and the weathered hands, it's something about your style too. Dubarry's latest deck shoe, Sligo, gives you the perfect combination of performance and panache so you'll look at home whether you're on the high seas or the high street. The stylish uppers feature Dubarry's signature DryFast-DrySoft leather combined with waxed canvas, a removable EVA footbed gives you shock-absorbing support and the sole gives you award-winning support.

Dubarry Sligo - the only deck shoe you'll ever need.

www.dubarry.com

Clark Reveals New Helm In Her Bid For 2012
Click on image to enlarge.

Saskia Clark Saskia Clark insists her Olympic dream is as bright as ever, as she embarks on a new partnership in her quest for 2012 sailing gold.

The 31-year old West Mersea sailor has seen a tough start to 2011 as her teammate in the 470 class, two-time Olympic Champion Sarah Ayton, last week called time on her sailing career and her bid for a third consecutive Olympic gold, in order to spend time with her young son.

But instead of being left high and dry in this all-important Olympic qualifying year, the Beijing Olympian Clark wasted no time in assessing her options for a new helm to join her in her bid for 2012 selection, and has picked 22-year-old Hannah Mills - a former 470 World Junior Champion for Skandia Team GBR - as her new partner.

"As soon as Sarah told me of her decision I think I was even more determined to be there on the startline in 2012 and try and achieve what's been a childhood dream," Clark explained.

"There was no time to waste really, so I spent a lot of time talking to people whose opinions I respect, gathering all the bits of information I could, thinking about where my strengths and weakness lay and where the strengths and weakness were of other 470 helms and I decided that Hannah Mills was definitely the person I wanted to go forward with.

For Mills, who hails from Cardiff, the new partnership with Clark signals a boost to her own 2012 ambitions.

The pair, who will be backed in their campaign by Volvo Car UK, will face their first major regatta test at the next leg of the ISAF Sailing World Cup Series, the Princess Sofia Trophy in Palma, Majorca, from 3-8 April.

www.skandiateamgbr.com

Soto 40 Fleet Taking Shape for Audi Medcup Circuit
Click on image to enlarge.

Soto 40 With confirmation this week that Iberdrola will campaign a Spanish entry, the 2011 Audi MedCup Circuit are looking forward to an inaugural season for the Soto 40 class starting with at least six boats representing six different nations at the first regatta of the season in May.

Iberdrola's Soto 40 will be skippered by past J80 World Champion Jose María "Pichu" Torcida, and is due to take its place in a starting line up alongside boats from Italy, Great Britain, Argentina, Brazil and possibly other international collaborations.

Of the five boats which are being built at M Boats in Argentina for European owners, the fifth is expected to be allocated this week and the first of this batch of new boats is currently being delivered to Europe.

The fleet will feature a strong mix of amateur and professional sailors, the class rules requiring a sailor who is not a professional to steer the boat and carefully limiting the costs of campaigning this rapidly growing class.

The formative European fleet will be joined by some of the Soto 40's from the class's native Argentina including Patagonia of Norberto Alvarez Vitale, presidente and founder of the class, and Juan Balll's Negra

The Soto 40 Class programme on the Audi MedCup Circuit will mirror the schedule of the TP52 Series. The Soto 40 will not compete on the coastal races, but will instead continue with a diet of windward-leeward races. -- Sabina Mollart-Rogerson

Audi Med Cup Circuit 2011
Trophy 1 - Tuesday 17th - Sunday 22nd May
Trophy 2 - Tuesday 14th - Sunday 19th June
Trophy 3 - Tuesday 19th - Sunday 24th July
Trophy 4 - Tuesday 23rd - Sunday 28th August
Trophy 5 - Monday 12th - Saturday 17th September

www.medcup.org

Short Tacks
Early-bird signups for Transpac 2011 enjoy a discounted entry fee, and 54 skippers have taken advantage so far. On Sunday, February 27, however, that turns into the one that got away. Signups as late as February 27 qualify for the discount, and then you're set to be on the line next July for one of the great sailing experiences, anywhere. The 2011 Transpacific Yacht Race, Los Angeles to Honolulu, is a classic dating to 1906. And yes, you can use your credit card to join the fun.

The discounts range from $250 for boats under 41 feet to $2500 for boats over 85 feet. Full details in 2011 Race Documents/Notice of Race at www.transpacrace.com

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Norwegian authorities said Wednesday a sailboat with five crew members had sent a distress signal from the Antarctic a day earlier and had not been heard from since.

Two ships, including one with a helicopter on board, were sent from New Zealand to try to locate the Berserk, but due to harsh weather conditions, they were not able to enter the zone in the Ross Sea from where the signal was sent, Norwegian rescue services said.

The Berserk, a 15-metre sailboat, sent out a distress signal early Tuesday, Norwegian time. Its crew was made up of four Norwegians and a fifth man believed to be either British or South African.

www.edmontonjournal.com

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Flying 18s Video has produced a short video showing a typical 18ft Skiff Race Day at the Australian 18 Footers League, each Sunday on Sydney Harbour.

The video, titled "Race Day at The League", can be seen on You Tube:
www.youtube.com/user/flying18s Further Flying 18s videos can also be seen on www.flying18s.com 'video'.

Another upcoming presentation in the near future will be a semi-documentary coverage of the Giltinan 2011 Championship, which will be sailed on Sydney Harbour from 4-13 March.

For the Children of Christchurch
Children in and around Christchurch, New Zealand's second largest city, have never felt the ground shake so hard. And with every hour since Tuesday's devastating earthquake, their vulnerability and uncertainty grows.

Save the Children needs your support - whatever you can give will be greatly appreciated - to launch rapid relief for children and families affected by the 6.3 magnitude earthquake.

Save the Children staff are en route to Christchurch to determine how best to support children and families following what authorities have referred to as the worst natural disaster in New Zealand's recent history.

Children are always among the most vulnerable during emergencies. Children have lived through an event that has left them tremendously stressed and fearful of their situation and what lies ahead.

Save the Children's quick, child-focused response to disasters - including our groundbreaking child friendly spaces - helps ensure children and their rights are protected and looked after at the height of emergencies.

With expert staff ready to assist and many years of experience in New Zealand, Save the Children is prepared to support children's physical and emotional recovery from the shock they have experienced.

Donate here: https://secure.savethechildren.org

Featured Brokerage
Featured Brokerage Boat 2009 Archambault A40 RC. US$ 444,588. Located in Hong Kong.

Designed specially for IRC, the A40RC is a winner. 9/10ème rigging, fin lead keel, she can sail very close to the wind. Very spacious, her cockpit is equipped with two wheels and is always very easy to use as well for racing or for cruising.

Brokerage through Jebsen Marine: www.yachtworld.com/jebsen/

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

The Last Word
Time and space are modes by which we think and not conditions in which we live. -- Albert Einstein

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