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And Then There Were Ten...
Formal, public announcements by these two teams, revealing their identities, nationalities and plans are expected as early as next week.
"With the deadline for entries coming at the end of this month, it's fantastic to have two more competitors in the line-up this week," said Iain Murray, Regatta Director for the 34th America's Cup.
"This brings us up to 10 teams in the competition with a little over a week remaining before the deadline for entries."
These two competitors for the America's Cup join ranks with Aleph (France), Artemis Racing (Sweden), Emirates Team New Zealand (New Zealand), Energy Team (France), Mascalzone Latino (Italy), ORACLE Racing (USA), Team Australia, and one undisclosed team.
The entry process and validation procedures are set out in the America's Cup Rules and can be found at americascup.com
* Editor: The AC rumour mill, that most august and robust of all sailing traditions, says that one of these entries is from China.
Ghost Mode and Survival Mode
Tactically the forthcoming upwind section of Atlantic raises an interesting dilemma for the front-runners, and particularly for MAPFRE, 244 miles behind in this morning's 0500hrs position report. The Azores High is expanding east-west across the north Atlantic, creating a large obstacle on the way to the Mediterranean. Whilst taking a westerly route looks like an unworkable tactic given the considerable extra mileage involved, the issue of when to tack east to avoid the centre of the anticyclone remains uncertain.
The GRIB files show stronger winds near the coast so by tacking early towards North Africa they will reach better pressure soonest, but will be sailing an unfavorable angle for longer.
Carry on heading north as long as they dare and they will benefit from lifting pressure, but are at risk of getting trapped by the light winds at the centre of the high, while taking a 'middle road' between the two means avoiding the light winds in the lee of the Canary Islands. When to tack in, and when to tack back out? Timing will be everything, and by selecting stealth mode Virbac-Paprec 3 are hiding the clues for MAPFRE.
The situation is more serious on We Are Water. "The barometer has gone down to 956mb, we are preparing for the worst possible scenario," emailed Jaume Mumbru (ESP) this morning, as he and Cali Sanmarti prepared to ride out what Barcelona World Race meteorologist Marcel van Triest predicted could be the worst Southern Ocean storm of the race due to a deep low pressure system.
The weather forecast for the area they are sailing in for the next 18 hours is severe: a south-westerly gale of 45-60 knots, gusting 75: a Force 12. In conjunction with the strong winds, huge seas are also predicted with a 9-12 metre swell. Heavy rain, squalls, and even snow are all likely as the winds are blowing directly from Antarctica, bringing bitingly cold dense air which makes the conditions all the more intense.
Jaume Mumbru reported from the boat around 1500hrs this afternoon that they were running away from the gale under storm jib only with zero mainsail, in around 55 knot (63mph or 101 km/h) winds. The pair were safely inside the boat, which was making around 11 knots in a north-easterly direction, and reported that although conditions were intensely cold, the wave pattern was better than anticipated with no confused cross-seas.
Standings at 1400hrs Wednesday 23rd March, 2011
Bruni Leads But Canfield Steals the Con Cup Show
The 23-year-old match racing waif from the U.S. Virgin Islands followed his 0-7 West Coast debut with a 4-1 record Wednesday that was better than anyone else could manage, except overall leader and defending champion Francesco Bruni of Italy, who stands alone at 10-1 as the competition advances into the second round robin leading to the weekend's sailoffs.
Canfield opened with a stunning one-second photo finish against the veteran Dave Perry and followed with wins over Ficker Cup winner Simone Ferrarese of Italy, his only loss against Finland's Staffan Lindberg and then wins against---whoa!---Great Britain's Ian Williams and Sweden's Johnie Berntsson.
Certainly, Canfield's day was brighter than the weather that deteriorated from bright sun and light, shifty wind to overcast, a light drizzle and even lighter wind, none of which diminished the show.
Bruni (10-1) broke away from a three-way tie at the top as Williams and France's Mathieu Richard---each 3-2 for the day---remained on his heels at 9-2.
In fact, they are the only three with winning records, raising speculation on who will sail the fourth boat into the semifinals. At the moment it's wide open.
The most spectacular finish was Staffan Lindberg's victory over Neugodnikov. They were side by side as the Finn, on the inside, carried the Russian past the outside end of the line to gain leverage for a quick left turn back up to the line that his foe could only follow.
What Lindberg didn't realize was that as he wheeled the boat around to go back up to finish, his tactician, Nils Bjerkas, had slipped overboard as he went forward to help douse the spinnaker. He managed to hang on and re-board before the finish.
"It came as a surprise to me to learn later that we had a guy in the water," said Lindberg, who is in a four-way tie for fifth place at 4-7, a step behind Dave Perry at 5-6. -- Rich Roberts
Standings After 11 of 18 flights
1. Francesco Bruni, Italy, 10-1
Aberdeen Asset Management Cowes Week 2011
The 2011 event celebrates the old and the new as 100-year-old wooden dayboats race alongside ultra-modern machines made of carbon fibre.
2011 marks the Centenary of the first race of the XOD Class which, for many years, has been the largest class to race at Cowes Week. The regatta is the natural host for the Class' Centenary celebrations and plans for the occasion include a special Centenary class dinner. Over 100 boats from the class are expected to race in this very special year.
CWL is delighted to be working with Aberdeen Asset Management as the new title sponsor of the event. This is a particularly positive development given the continued tough economic climate and means that CWL has been able to make a welcome reduction in entry fees.
Many of the biggest, fastest and most glamorous boats in the world will be taking part in Aberdeen Asset Management Cowes Week as they use the event to prepare for the Rolex Fastnet Race. Racing will be held for IRC big boats between 18.2m and 30.5m LOA with a TCC of greater than 1.4 from Tuesday 9 to Thursday 11 August. Racing on these days will also be held for the exciting Class 40 boats.
In addition, cruisers rated under the Island Sailing Club Rating System (ISCRS) will also be able to race throughout the whole week as a result of a number of requests from owners.
Full details of the classes for Aberdeen Asset Management Cowes Week 2011 can be found in the Notice of Regatta at www.aamcowesweek.co.uk . The early bird discounted entry fee ends at 17:00 on Monday 13 June.
Folkboat Association Of Great Britain & Ireland
The Folkboat Association of Great Britain & Ireland celebrated its 50th Anniversary with a special dinner at the Royal Lymington Y.C. on Saturday, 19th March 2011. Principal Guest was Sarah Treseder, CEO of the RYA, and after dinner she congratulated the Association on reaching this milestone. She also hoped that in the next 50 years they would lose the reputation as handicap bandits. Amongst the audience was Tom Husband, current President of the Association and a founder member when the Association was formed in London on the 7th April 1961.
The Association has 300 members and is active in promoting and supporting Folkboat owners and enthusiasts across Great Britain & Ireland. Anyone who would like more information about the Association and its activities should contact the Secretary, Eddie Mays at / 02380 402194
Rivals Join Forces For 50/50 Chance at SAP 505 Worlds
Mark Thornburrow and Laurence Mead see each other at many sailing events, usually as opponents in the highly competitive world of Etchells keelboat racing, but this time, the two have combined forces as the only Hong Kong entry at the SAP 2011 505 World Championship which will start at Hamilton Island on Saturday.
The two have purchased a new boat and aptly named it 50/50 - in honour of the age both turned last year and for their hopes of a top finish.
Both are normally at the helm of their respective boats, but one had to give way and become crew for their assault on the two-person 505 dinghy. "That would be me, Mr T (Thornburrow) is a much better dinghy helm than I am," Mead conceded at the Pre-Worlds warm-up, where they scored a good seventh place in the final light-air race.
However, the two are equally good helsmsmen, constantly waging a battle from Asia to Australia and beyond for the title of Hong Kong's top Etchells sailor, where they are fairly even in the results stakes. "We don't get precious about who beats who," Mead states.
Here, at Hamilton Island, that separation has changed, as they are sailing together for the first time in years, against a very hot fleet of world champions across various classes.
Friends since they met has 10 year-olds in Hong Kong, Thornburrow was born there, while Mead was born in Britain and immigrated to the Asian city with his family at eight years of age.
Thornburrow last sailed a 505 at the world championship 28 years ago, at which time he sold the boat to Mead who sailed for the world title a year later. That is the last time Hong Kong was represented at the 505 Worlds. -- Di Pearson
Follow the Hong Kong crew and the event via the official site at:
The King & Queen Pursuit Race
The King & Queen pub, in Hamble High Street, is a very popular haunt for the sailing community and raising funds for the Hamble Lifeboat is a cause that is very close to home. Last year, the King and Queen raised £2,700 for the Hamble Lifeboat, through their annual pursuit race. This year, The King & Queen hope to exceed that figure, especially as the recent rise in fuel prices means that the Hamble Lifeboat needs even more money to carry out their vital role.
The 2011 King & Queen Pursuit Race will take place on the 2nd April with all boats starting between 1030 and 1100. International race officer, Tony Lovell, will organise the racing. It is a fun day out designed for all of the family and all of the proceeds will go the Hamble Lifeboat.
Last year, 30 local boats turned out ranging from high performance keelboats and multihulls to cruising yachts and classic dinghies. There is some glittering silverware up for grabs and other prizes, including best dressed crew. This year, Wight Vodka will be supplying Bloody Marys for brunch and a selection of Wight Vodka cocktails after the event. The King and Queen will host a barbeque and charity auction with live music in the evening supplied by Stu Simpson Acoustic.
If you would like to enter a yacht, donate an auction item or just come along for a great day out and support a very worthwhile local cause.
Visit the King & Queen web site: www.thekingandqueenpub.co.uk
And check out www.wightvodka.com for some spring cocktail formulas...
31 minis (21 series and 10 prototypes) will start friday from Talamone (Italy) for 160 doublehanded nautical miles.
This c level race, organized by the Circolo Vela Talamone and the Italian Classe Mini, offers a course of 160 nautical miles qualifier for the Charente-Maritime Bahia Transat 650.
Chicago Yacht Club announced today that the 2011 Chicago Yacht Club Race to Mackinac presented by Veuve Clicquot has 343 entries. "We are delighted that interest in our race is once again so strong. As we say on our boat, 'It's going to be a very busy lake.'" said race chairman Greg Freeman. 2011 marks the 103rd running of 'the Mac,' the world's oldest annual freshwater sailing distance race. The 103rd Race will start off Chicago's lakefront on July 16, 2011.
A new website about formula windsurfing in the UK, and for formula windsurfers in the UK, is now on line.
The website is the result of a collaboration between Keith Atkinson and Ceri Williams, both long term supporters of the class and its racing format.
Ceri Williams, who is chairman of the International Formula Windsurfing Class, commented - " there has been a need, for some time now, for a dedicated website to promote formula racing, and formula racers, here in the UK. We hope this is the beginning of a reversal of fortunes for the class here in the UK; wherever there is a dedicated national body the sport of formula racing is steadily growing- for example in Australia, northern europe and USA."
Aa sensationally good report by Martin Tasker with video of the AC45 fleet racing and interviews of Jimmy, Terry Hutchinson and Iain Percy, that has just run on TVNZ, courtesy of Richard Gladwell.
"Some great fast racing in store…."
The RYA is this year organising the 2011 IFDS Disabled Sailing World Championships, which will be staged at the home of the London 2012 Olympic and Paralympic sailing competitions, the Weymouth and Portland National Sailing Academy.
The IFDS Worlds, which is supported by UK Sport, is the most important event in the disabled sailing calendar, apart from the Paralympic Games, and will greet the shores of the UK from Thursday 30 June to Friday 8 July, 2011.
This highly competitive week of racing, which forms the second country qualifying event for the 2012 Paralympic Games, will welcome 190 sailors from across 25 different countries in the three Paralympic Classes; the 2.4mR, the SKUD and the Sonar.
* From Kevin Burnham: In Scuttlebutt Europe #2309, Star Class sailor and Olympic Gold medallist, Mark Reynolds compared popularity of Olympic Classes by the number of teams from each class on the ISAF Sailing World Rankings. The Star Class came out looking pretty good at number 3 on the list - with 379 teams. Now there are many ways to measure popularity of the Olympic Classes - and what the data Mark presented doesn't show is the full picture of how many nations are on each Olympic Class rankings, the depth of fleet in each nation or indeed how many ISAF Ranked events each of the teams have contested. Just looking at the Star Class World Rankings, you can see that of the 379 teams on the rankings, 206 teams (ie 54%) have only secured ranking points from just 1 event and an additional 56 teams (another 14.7%) secure points from 2 events.
It is worth noting the way in which ranking points are awarded, known as the Method of Calculation - in that you have to finish in the top % of finishers in an event (and the % varies depending on the ISAF grade awarded to that event) in order to secure ISAF Ranking points - www.sailing.org/20896.php - and that the World Rankings consist of a competitor's best seven results over the previous two years, with the two year period calculated on a rolling basis.
However, what is more interesting is the spread of nations and number of teams from each nation on the Star Class World Rankings. The Star Class has 34 nations on the ISAF Rankings. Of those 34 nations, there are four nations whose teams represent 56.99% of all the teams on the Star Class World Rankings (Brazil - 7.65%, Italy - 13.46%, Germany - 15.83% and the USA - 20.05%). I imagine that the picture in the other Olympic Class Rankings shows a greater nation spread and depth of fleet.
I would like to add that my 2004 Gold Medal 470 boat finished 3rd in the Women's fleet in the 2011 Miami Olympic Classes Regatta.
* From Richard Newnham - ambassador to The Great Gurnard: I feel it is necessary to be clear that this new island, now the sovereign property of Gurnard Sailing Club, is not part of the Shingles Bank that Bob Fisher has been seen rubbing his bottom along. I attach above a photo of the ceremony which took place on the new island, which now forms part of the Shingles Bank Archipelago.
Click on image to enlarge.
I'm delighted to inform you the island has been named The Great Gurnard. You will be aware, no doubt, that we have already been recognised by President Sarkozy of France.
Consideration was given by The Great Gurnard Government to a No-Fly Zone. It was decided however that providing Bob Fisher has not sprouted wings or managed to con someone out of a helicopter it will not be necessary.
There is a strong possibility that there are significant mineral rights attached to The Great Gurnard as there was a strong smell of gas noted by the Discovery Expedition when Scotty climbed out of his kayak.
In the short-term we plan to open a takeaway restaurant. We fear we may be overwhelmed by the demand in the Round The Island Race for bacon butties, prior to the first spinnaker hoist.
We are currently talking to the Island Sailing Club about getting the bacon butties orders and costs included in the entry fee.
Initial plans for a multi-story car park have been scrapped due to some doubts on the business plan.
I hope this clears up any lingering doubts about the ownership from various would-be Dictators.
Launched in 2009, AMF Nikita is a highly specified J-122 with a full set of 3DL regatta sails from North Sails Italy. She is a high performance boat that performs well on the race course and comfortably accomodates six guests in three cabins.
Brokerage through Nautor's Swan Italy & Monaco: www.yachtworld.com/swan-italy/
Complete listing details and seller contact information at uk.yachtworld.com
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